The Freedoms Committee in the Tunisian Parliament approved a draft law criminalising the normalisation of relations with Israel.
The proposed law comes amid ongoing protests in solidarity with Palestinians in the country. The move paves the way for hearings on the bill, followed by a public session for discussion and vote, reports The Dispatch.
“The draft law includes seven chapters, in which penalties reach a life imprisonment sentence”, said Hela Jaballah, head of the Freedoms Committee.
She added that normalisation, communication in trade, commercial and cultural activities, services, military or intelligence with Israel will be punished.
Tunisia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, but Israeli tourists, most of whom are of Tunisian origin, take part annually in Jewish celebrations at Ghriba synagogue in Djerba.
This year, a deadly attack near the Djerba synagogue killed two security officers and two Jewish visitors, one French Tunisian and the other Israeli Tunisian. Since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, pro-Palestinian rioters burned down a synagogue in the Gabès Governorate.
In recent years, Morocco, Bahrain, and the Emirates have normalised relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia is putting US-backed plans to normalise ties with Israel on ice as the war escalates between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.