The Jewish community of Djerba was targeted on Tuesday night, as violent anti-government protests raged elsewhere in the country.
Perez Trabelsi, the head of the local Jewish community, told Reuters that petrol bombs had been thrown at the Jewish school on the island of Djerba, causing some damage but no injuries.
There were no protests in Djerba but locals said the assailants had exploited the fact that there was a reduced security presence as police were busy elsewhere combating anti-government protests around the country. “Unknown people took the opportunity of the protests and threw Molotov cocktails into the lobby of a Jewish religious school in Djerba,” Trabelsi said.
Trabelsi’s son, Elie, an activist from the Djerba Jewish community who currently lives in France, told The Jerusalem Post that perpetrators had thrown Molotov cocktails through the roof of a synagogue and another Jewish site that serves as both a house of prayer and as a school building. The two buildings, he said, are located in a Jewish neighbourhood near the centre of Djerba.
“Security and civil protection are now doing their duty,” he wrote on Facebook.
During the time of the attack, violent clashes were raging in some 20 Tunisian cities as people protested against rising prices and new taxes imposed on January 1.
Tunisia has a Jewish community of around 1,800 people. Jews have lived in Tunisia for more than 2,000 years and Djerba is home to Africa’s oldest synagogue, El Ghriba, which was attacked in 2002 by al-Qaida-linked terrorists using a truck bomb that killed 21 people including Western tourists.