Tunisians Rally for Palestinian Solidarity
In a powerful display of solidarity with the Palestinian people, thousands of Tunisians from diverse backgrounds, including trade unionists, civil society members, activists, lawyers, and high school students, gathered in central Tunis on Thursday. Their message was clear: they demanded the criminalization of any form of normalization of relations with Israel.
UGTT Headquarters Rally
Demonstrators, including members of the trade union center, the UGTT, converged in front of the UGTT headquarters, holding Palestinian flags high. They vehemently denounced Israeli attacks on Gaza, decrying what they perceived as “Zionist crimes” and global silence regarding the Gaza tragedy.
Marching for Justice
Following the gathering, the demonstrators marched along Avenue Habib Bourguiba, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, as they continued their passionate rally. Chants of “The people want to penalize normalization” resonated through the streets, underscoring their unwavering stance against engagement with Israel.
Condemnation of International Supporters
The marchers also condemned France and the United States for their support of Israel, branding them as “allies in the attack on the Palestinians.” Their deep concern over the Israeli strikes carried out in retaliation for Hamas’ recent actions heightened their protest.
Relief for Gaza
Tunisia, with a historical commitment to the Palestinian cause, is actively preparing a medical and humanitarian relief convoy for the Palestinians in Gaza. This solidarity is consistent with Tunisia’s history of hosting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) when Yasser Arafat relocated it there between 1982 and 1994.
President Kais Saied’s Appeal
Tunisian President Kais Saied, during a cabinet meeting on Monday, appealed for international support in the current stage of Palestinian liberation. The president has repeatedly referred to normalization with Israel as a “crime,” and a parliamentary committee will soon consider a bill to criminalize such processes.
1985 Israeli Air Strike on PLO Headquarters
In a significant historical reference, the article mentions the massive Israeli air strike on the PLO headquarters in Hammam Chatt in October 1985. This operation resulted in the loss of fifty Palestinian and eighteen Tunisian lives. Notably, one of the operation’s targets was Abu Jihad, an official of Assifa, the military branch of Fatah.