The coffins of Aviel and Ben Hadad, who were murdered in a shooting incident on the island of Djerba in Tunisia, were moved to France on Thursday. The coffin of Aviel Hadad will be brought to Israel for burial on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it is in contact with Aviel's family in Israel and is helping them during these "difficult times."
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in the statement on Friday that "our heart aches as a result of the untimely passing of Aviel and Ben Hadad who were murdered in the fatal shooting incident in Tunisia. I know there is no consolation for their loss and the pain is great. Aviel will return home today and there are no words to comfort the family. May we never know sorrow again."
In his conversation with the chief rabbi of Tunisia, Rabbi Chaim Bitan, Cohen assured him that he and the ministry will continue to support the community and provide "whatever assistance is required," as well as standing side-by-side with the family and the community."
According to the statement the Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the Jewish community in Tunisia, worked in recent days to promote the transfer to Israel of the coffin of the late Aviel Hadad. Aviel's coffin is expected to land in Israel on Friday and the funeral will take place, before Shabbat, in the Southern city of Netivot, where his family lives.
The ministry said that "the Israeli government condemns the brutal murder of Aviel and Ben Hadad and expresses its deepest condolences to their families and to the entire Jewish community in Tunisia. The government will continue to work to ensure the safety of all Israelis abroad."
The attack on the synagogue in Djerba
Five people were killed in an attack near a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, on Tuesday. The victims included two Jewish pilgrims and three Tunisian police guards. The attacker, a guard from Tunisia's National Guard naval center in the town of Aghir on Djerba, was shot dead by security forces.
The attack took place during an annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in the world. The synagogue is located on the island of Djerba, which is a popular tourist destination.
The motive for the attack is still under investigation. However, it is believed to be an act of terrorism with an antisemitic motive. Israel believes this to be an attack based on Jew-hatred. In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron also hinted towards this conclusion in a statement he made after the attack.
The attack on the synagogue has shocked the Tunisian people. The country has a long history of religious tolerance and the attack has been condemned by all sides of the political spectrum, yet most Tunisian leaders have not mentioned the fact that this attack was intended to harm Jews.
The Tunisian government has vowed to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. The government has also increased security measures around synagogues and other religious sites.