Historic Synagogue in Tunisia Firebombed Amid Social Unrest

By Sephardic News Jan 10, 2018 12:34 PM

Pictured Above: The historic Ghriba Synagogue in Tunisia. Credit: Issam Barhoumi via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS) The historic Ghriba Synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba was firebombed Tuesday night after a second day of social unrest and riots in the country. 

The Jewish site was set on fire after assailants threw Molotov cocktails into the building’s yard. The synagogue was empty at the time and the fire was extinguished quickly. The fire caused a small amount of damage to the building’s structure.  

“Unknown assailants in a vehicle threw firebombs at the Jewish prayer site at the center of the neighborhood on the Island of Djerba, in an attempt to burn it down,” stated a Tunisian security official, according to the Tunisian news outlet Erem.

It is believed that Jews constructed the Ghriba Synagogue after fleeing the land of Israel following either the destruction of Jerusalem’s First Temple in 586 B.C. or the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 B.C. In 2002, the Tunisian synagogue was hit by an Al-Qaeda suicide bombing that killed 21 people.