TUNISIA - 5 Killed, Including 2 Jewish Pilgrims

Arno Froese

A gunman killed five people in an attack on an ancient synagogue in Tunisia, during an annual pilgrimage that attracts thousands of Jews and is seen as a rare instance of Jewish partnership with an Arab nation.

The attack took place at the end of an evening of festivities at El Ghriba, a site of Jewish worship dating back 2,500 years that is also a central attraction of the pilgrimage taking place each year on or around Lag b’Omer, a break during the 49 days of mourning between Passover and Shavuot.

The Tunisian government invested in the pilgrimage, billing it as a symbol of the country’s tolerance, and provided intense security.

Now, the revelation that one of those security officers appears to have orchestrated an attack on the Jewish pilgrims has undercut those efforts.

About 1,000 Jews are estimated to live in Tunisia, one of the only continual Jewish communities in the Arab world. Most of Tunisia’s Jewish population, estimated at over 100,000 prior to 1948, left the country for Israel or France by 1970.

-www.jta.org, 10 May 2023

Arno's Commentary

Tunisia’s population stands at 12 million, and 99% are Muslim. Their per-capita GDP is listed at $11,623, compared to Israel’s $35,658. While Tunisia is not mentioned in the Bible, it did belong to the Roman Empire, as all the Mediterranean countries at one time were subject to Rome. The main target country from Biblical perspectives is the land of Egypt. 

The prophet Isaiah declares the following: “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance” (Isaiah 19:23-25).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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