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Repercussions of Zoari’s Assassination in Tunisia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, hold a banner bearing a portrait of one of their leaders, Mohamed al-Zoari, who was killed in Tunisia, during a ceremony in his memory on December 18, 2016, in Gaza City. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)

Tunisia- The assassination of the Tunisian Engineer Mohamed al-Zoari has sparked wide popular protests in the country calling the government to hold the parliament and media responsible for the security and political failure amid indications on reconstructing the political and national partisan scene in the country.

Many Palestinian national free movements have endorsed the aviation engineer and inventor Mohamed al-Zoari, considering him the Martyr of Mossad, who was providing the Palestinian factions with drones and coordinating with them fir over 10 years.

Positions of officials and the opposition varied between supportive and reserved amid fears of another revolution in the country, especially with the anniversary of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fall in January 2011 looming.

Although some parties and syndicates have suggested to organize a huge unprecedented demonstration on Saturday, some of the slogans raised after the assassination have taken other dimensions. Some participants have sought to exploit these social and political movements to change the political scene amid calls for another revolution leading toward a total political shift.


In spite that Tunisia have experienced social disturbances and tensed political circumstances in the rule and the ruling party led by Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, reactions to Zoari’s assassination revealed that Palestine has unified the Tunisian decision makers, according to the Former Education Minister and Writer Salem Al-Abyad from the National Arabic Movement.


A clear shift has appeared in the official Tunisian position from Zoari’s assassination under the pressures of media and social media outlets. after the Minister of Interior Hedi Majdoub considered the Tunisian assassinated aviation engineer as a “murdered” during a press conference, the Prime Minister and other officials from the government called him “martyr” and “inventor”, revealing the Tunisian government’s willingness to submit a complaint against the foreign intelligence accused of violating the Tunisian sovereignty.

A member in the Parliament said that the Tunisian people will keep pressuring the government to prove its loyalty to its national principles and the Palestinian cause.


While the leaders of many parties have rushed to take advantage of the assassination, many of Ennahdha Party’s officials surprised the Tunisian people with over-rational statements, which raised question marks around the rush to accuse Israel and the Tunisian government of committing the crime before concluding investigations.

Although many observers have suggested that Ennahdha would be the biggest beneficiary of these popular protests and movements, the party’s leadership seemed cautious in supporting the marginalized youth’s emotions in the assassination issue.

Currently, the political leadership in Tunisia is going through a very difficult situation, torn between the public and international pressures. Despite the improvement of the security situation in the country last year, the accusation of a Tunisian young man of committing Berlin’s attack has ashamed Tunisia, which is classified among the top countries to ‘export terrorists’.


Some right-winged politicians have kept exerting efforts and pressures over the government and the president, calling them to announce complete repudiation from terrorist groups, Takfiri organizations and the Muslim brotherhood’s Movement.


However, the biggest challenges facing Leader Essebsi and his government have been the expansion of protests to include syndicates of laborers, journalists, engineers and the civil society to reject the assassination of Zoari.


While Tunisia has witnessed political and security ups and downs, some observers insisted on discussing the “war of succession”, pointing to the post-elections phase. The new developments underscore the growing role of civil society along with social media influencers and syndicates, which all aim at using security issues to weaken the government.