Islamists lead pro-intifada protest in Tunisian capital
Hundreds of Tunisians, including political figures, gathered in the capital Tunis Saturday for a demonstration in support of the Palestinian “uprising” (or “intifada”) against Israel, reported AFP.
The protest was organized by the Islamist Ennahda party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and which won the first elections in the country only to be forced to step down later.
The demonstrators assembled under close police surveillance in the city’s main thoroughfare, Bourguiba Avenue, waving Tunisian and Palestinian flags as well as that of the Hamas terrorist group.
Ennahda MP Sahbi Atig said: “This is essentially a symbolic action to show our support for the Palestinian cause and uprising.”
Houcine Jaziri, who had been in an Ennahda-led coalition government, said: “We are all united behind the Palestinian cause.”
This is not the first time that Ennahda has led anti-Israel calls in Tunisia. In September, shortly after masked Muslim rioters hurled rocks and fireworks at police on the Temple Mount, the deputy leader of Ennahda, Mohamed Akrout, called on Arab leaders to support the “Palestinian struggle” in all its forms, including using armed forces, to resist the continued Israeli “aggression” against the Palestinian people.
Ennahda won the first free election after the overthrow of Ben Ali in 2011, but was accused by the opposition of seeking to entrench itself in power, disregarding the interests of a large secular urban population and being lenient toward radical Islamists.