JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning for Tunisia in advance of a traditional Lag b’Omer procession.
The warning issued Saturday night called on Israelis to avoid visiting Tunisia and to leave the country as soon as possible. It said that recent information indicates the intention to carry out terror attacks against visiting Israelis or Tunisian Jewish communities, with an emphasis on the upcoming Lag b’Omer commemoration on the island of Djerba.
The traditional festive procession near the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba takes place on or around Lag b’Omer, a break during the 49 days of mourning between Passover and Shavuot, which this year begins on Wednesday night. It draws hundreds of Tunisian Jews and visitors from Israel.
The synagogue, in the village of Hara Seghira, or Er-Riadh, dates back to 586 B.C., although the current building was reconstructed in the 19th century. El Ghriba is sometimes cited as North Africa’s oldest synagogue. In 2002, terrorists blew up a vehicle near the synagogue, killing 21 people.
In March, 23 people were killed in an Islamic State terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis; the Islamic state has claimed it will commit more attacks in the country.