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May 13, 2023 10:31 am

Funeral Held for Aviel Haddad, Victim of Tunisian Synagogue Massacre

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avatar by i24 News

Inside the ancient El Ghriba Synagogue in Tunisia.

i24 NewsAviel Haddad, murdered on Tuesday in Tunisia, was buried on Friday in Israel.

Haddad had immigrated to Israel after the death of his mother three years ago. His cousin Ben Haddad and four others were killed in the attack on the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.

The attack took place as hundreds of worshipers participated in an annual Jewish pilgrimage to Ghriba, the oldest synagogue in Africa. Three guards and two worshipers were killed, including multinational Haddad cousins, who were Israeli-Tunisian and Franco-Tunisian.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin instructed police and security officials to step up protection of Jewish places of worship and gathering, after Tuesday’s attack. Darmanin insisted on a “very high level of terrorist threat that weighs on the country as well as the renewed tension observed at the international level amidst the deadly attack against the synagogue in Djerba.”

The rogue police officer killed a colleague, took his ammunition, then went to the Ghriba synagogue. He opened fire there, sparking terror at the pilgrimage site. He wore his uniform and a bulletproof vest, as he killed two visitors and wounded two more. In an ensuing shoot-off, he wounded six police officers, two of whom later died.

A preliminary criminal investigation opened in Tunisia, said Fethi Bakkouche, a spokesman for the court of Medenine, which has jurisdiction on the island of Djerba. Officials probed whether the shooting was a random killing spree or an antisemitic terror attack.

Tunisia hasn’t seen a deadly attack on foreigners since 2015, nor an attack on the Ghriba pilgrimage since a suicide bombing killed 21 people there in 2002. Among other North African countries, Tunisia is notable for jihadist activity and the anti-Jewish sentiment of much of its populace. In past decades, Tunisia hosted Palestinian terrorist organizations.

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