By Paul Rosenfeld | Nov 16 2012avenue bourguiba ,criminalization ,Gaza ,Israeli airstrike ,normalization with Israel ,
About 500 Tunisians demonstrated on Friday in downtown Tunis against the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
The protests coincided with governmental calls for action. Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem announced today that he will travel to Gaza as part of a Tunisian mission to support Hamas and increase pressure on Israel, according to the ministry’s official Facebook page.
The National Constituent Assembly also discussed today a proposed draft law that would criminalize the normalization of relations with Israel, Azed Bade, the head of the Wafa Block, told Mosaique FM. He said that 30 members have already signed the petition.
At the protest, demonstrators burned makeshift Israeli flags and shouted slogans such as â€œthe people want the liberation of Palestine,â€ â€œAmerica and the Muslim Brotherhood are partners in aggression,â€ and â€œdestroy, destroy Tel Aviv.â€ As the protesters made their way toward the oft-reviled Ministry of the Interior, they chanted, â€œthe Ministry of the Interior is the Ministry of Terrorism.â€
Intermittent rain did not stop the protesters from spending nearly two hours on Habib Bourguiba Avenue before peacefully marching back to Mohamed Ali Square, the site of the headquarters for Tunisiaâ€™s largest trade union (UGTT).
Additional police and military personnel were deployed along Avenue Bourguiba, especially in front of the French Embassy, but no clashes occurred.