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February 14, 2018 3:32 pm

Tunisian Parliamentarian Tears Israeli Flag in Televised Address

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Tunisian parliamentarian Ammar Amroussia tears an Israeli flag on state television. Photo: YouTube screenshot. – A Tunisian legislator tore an Israeli flag during a parliament session while promoting a proposed bill to criminalize relations with Israel, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Debate on the bill was suspended indefinitely because parliament officials did not consider it a priority. To protest the delay, opposition lawmaker Ammar Amroussia tore a paper with the Israeli flag printed on it while calling for a vote on the bill. The incident was carried on state television.

The moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, which is part of the governing coalition, warned such a law could hurt Tunisia’s relations with Western nations and international organizations.

Tunisia, like most Arab countries, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. In the late 1990s Tunisia and Israel briefly opened relations within specific interest sections, but Tunis suspended ties in 2000 during the Second Intifada.

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In 2014, Tunisia’s tourism minister Amel Karboul was nearly forced to resign for traveling to Israel in 2006 to participate in a UN training program for Palestinian Arab youths. Karboul and another minister similarly faced censure later that year after being accused of promoting “normalization” with Israel.

Last year, Tunisia banned the film Wonder Woman, which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot, because Gadot had defended Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on Facebook.

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