The Beith El synagogue in Sfax, Tunisia was ransacked last week, JTA reports. The floor of the synagogue was littered with prayer books and Jewish prayer shawls according to a report filed by human rights activist and attorney Ftouh Souhail.
Footage of the incident, which has been identified as an act of anti-Semitism, reveals that the vandals were a group of 10 high school students wearing hoods to conceal their identities. A video of the synagogue after the incident is available here.
A 76-year old congregant identified as R. Perez said, “They tore apart walls, paintings and threw them to the floor … this is vandalism directed against the Jewish heritage of Sfax. I cried like a child at the sight of my place of worship in this state.”
According to Souhail, who monitors the country’s Jewish population of 1,700, this was the third instance of “pro-Palestinian elements” targeting the congregation. Previous incidents occurred in August 2011 and December 2012, and included the stealing of 120-pound silver chandeliers.
“Tunisia has seen a wave of anti-Semitism since the 2010 revolt,” Souhail wrote. The Tunisian interior ministry, which reports on crimes, did not offer immediate information about the incident.