Tunisian-born Israelis who suffered Nazi occupation win state compensation

Tunisian-born Israeli Jews who suffered under World War II Nazi occupation have won a five-year battle to be recognized as eligible for the same Israeli government stipends paid to survivors of the Holocaust of European Jewry, according to a court document obtained Sunday. David Etzion, an attorney acting for 19 claimants, said the ruling meant that approximately 20,000 Tunisian Jews who immigrated to Israel are fully entitled to claim the monthly benefits, which average about $330. German troops occupied Tunisia in November 1942. According to Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, around 5,000 local Jews were rounded up and subjected to forced labor, and 20 Jewish activists were sent to their deaths in the extermination camps of Europe before allied forces arrived in May 1943. During the six months of Nazi rule in Tunisia, Jews were forced to wear yellow stars on their clothing, many had their property seized and community leaders were arrested, according to Yad Vashem's Web site.