“In 2015, I met Ms Laura Baeza, the EU Ambassador in Tunisia… and she confirmed that Israel had asked her to inform us of its intention to demand an enormous amount of financial compensation for the property of Jewish citizens who fled Tunisia in 1967 and 1973,” El-Echi confirmed. “She said that the Israelis are determined to do this.”
This had been mentioned by parliamentarian and journalist Safi Saeed in an interview with the host of Wahch Echacha television show. “The Israelis,” said Saeed, “are serious about this.”
El-Echi pointed out that he explained to the ambassador that the Jews who fled Tunisia are Tunisian citizens and their properties are still there, and Israel has nothing to do with it. “She promised me to communicate my answer to the Israeli authorities, and she did not contact me after that.”
He did not tell the then Prime Minister Habib Essid because he did not consider it a priority. “Israel can pressure Tunisia to pay compensation at any time, and I do not know if normalisation will be presented as an alternative to paying money,” added the former minister. “The sums mentioned are very large and exceed Tunisia’s budget. The ambassador mentioned it to me personally, and I do not want to talk about how much because it is frightening.”
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Only a small percentage of Jews stayed in Tunisia. Most of them live on the island of Djerba, home of the Ghriba Synagogue, which is the oldest Jewish building in Africa.
Israeli news outlets have reported the occupation state’s readiness to demand compensation from eight countries worth around $250 billion in respect of the properties of Jews who were “forced” to leave their countries after the establishment of Israel. It seems that the first two of these countries will be Tunisia and Libya; Israel is expected to demand $35 billion from Tunisia and $15 billion from Libya. The other countries are reported to be Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Iran.
Baghdad bombing sparks global condemnation
The attack rocked a busy commercial market in Baghdad when two suicide bombers detonated explosives they were carrying near al-Tayaran Square, the Iraqi Health Ministry said.
The Turkish Embassy in Baghdad strongly condemned the bombing affirming Turkey’s stand with Iraq.
Turkey’s Ambassador in Baghdad Fatih Yildiz tweeted: “I strongly condemn the dehumanized groups that today showed their ugly face in Baghdad again after a long period of time.”
The Turkish diplomat prayed for the victims and wished quick recovery for the wounded, asserting that “Turkey, as usual, is always beside you.”
Iraq: Twin suicide bombings hit central Baghdad
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing and offered condolences to the families of the victims, according to the official Wafa news agency.
“We stand in solidarity with Iraq, the president, the government and the people, as a result of the heinous terrorist act that targeted defenseless innocent people,” Abbas said.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the bombing stressing support for Iraq in the face of everything threatening its security.
In a statement, the ministry spokesman, Dhaifallah Al-Fayez, described the bombing as a “cowardly terrorist act that aims to destabilize security and stability and contradicts with religious and humanitarian values and principles.”
The Qatari Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the bombing in the capital, Baghdad, reiterating Doha’s firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and causes.
In a statement, the ministry offered condolences to the families of the victims and the government and people of Iraq, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.
For its part, Egypt condemned the bombing, expressing its sincere condolences and sympathy to the brotherly Iraqi government and people for the victims of this “disgraceful act of terrorism”, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
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The Egyptian Foreign Ministry affirmed in a statement that it “stands by brotherly Iraq in its endeavors to maintain security and stability and confront all forms of terrorism and extremism.”
Canada’s Ambassador in Baghdad Ulric Shannon strongly condemned the bombing describing it as a “disgusting event.”
“It is with great sadness and sorrow that I received the news of the terrorist attack in the Bab Al Sharqi region,” he said. “I wish the wounded a speedy recovery, mercy and forgiveness for the martyrs.”
The international coalition against ISIS (Daesh) called the Baghdad attack another example of terrorists killing Iraqis and harming those seeking peace.
It affirmed to continue its support for the Iraqi government to achieve security and stability.
Morocco, Israel agree to launch direct flights
The daily reported the deal without disclosing additional details. Moroccan authorities have yet to comment.
It is the third aviation deal signed recently between Israel and Arab countries, after similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in recent months.
Former US President Donald Trump announced Dec. 10 that Morocco and Israel agreed to normalize relations.
Morocco became the fourth Arab country to agree to normalization with Israel in 2020, after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan.
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