Tunisia: Fractured Political Voices Rally to Palestinian Cause

by | Oct 7, 2023 | Diplomacy, Political, Social, Tunisia


On 7 October 2023, Hamas fighters launched multiple attacks –referred to as Operation Al-Aqsa Flood– from the Gaza Strip killing hundreds of Israelis which prompted multiple days of bombings and military operations by Israel, referred to as Operation Swords of Iron.  

A large-scale ground invasion of the Gaza Strip has been promised by Israeli leaders who have referred to the events of 7 October as “Israel’s 9/11,” equating Hamas with the Islamic State terrorist organization. 

President Kais Saied expressed unwavering support and solidarity with the Palestinian people and affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to “stand up to occupation.” He met with Tunisian defense leaders to discuss how Tunisia could leverage transport capabilities to provide support to Palestinians. 

President Saied also directed Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar to formally issue reservations with a statement issued during an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, seemingly concerned that the statement did not go far enough in its demands.  

The UGTT organized a pro-Palestinian demonstration on 12 October, drawing thousands to downtown Tunis for peaceful protests. The protestors included some of President Saied’s critics and opponents who expressed unity on the issue of Palestine despite political differences. 

The Tunisian Parliament as well as the Sheikh of the Zitouna Mosque in Tunis issued statements of support of the Palestinian cause. 

The US Embassy announced plans to close on 12 and 13 October out of “an abundance of caution” as pro-Palestinian rallies were announced


While Tunisians appear willing to put aside some political differences to rally in support of the Palestinian cause, recent events are unlikely to mark a major shift in the political stances of various groups either aligned with or in opposition to President Kais Saied. 

However, passionate support among Tunisians combined with the strain of the current economic and political situation could make the country vulnerable to unrest. Political demonstrations could easily evolve into various expressions of frustration, including violence against either Tunisian authorities or Western government facilities in Tunisia. 

Our team issued a special report on Tunisia’s history with Palestine and how current events could impact the security environment. Subscribe to our monthly risk reporting to receive a copy.  


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