Tunisian Rabbi Mamou reads the Torah, Judaism’s most important text, at the Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba at the start of a three-day annual pilgrimage, on May 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID
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Jewish pilgrims began arriving on Friday at Ghriba, Africa's oldest synagogue, on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba for an annual gathering taking place amid heavy security.The organisers hope to receive 2,000 people during the three-day event which ends on Sunday, a representative of the small Jewish community in Ghriba, Perez Trabelsi, told AFP.Beginning 33 days after the start of the Jewish Passover festival, the Ghriba pilgrimage used to attract up to 8,000 pilgrims and tourists. A group of Tunisian politicians has argued that the deputy interior minister for security, Ridha Sfar, was effectively promoting "normalisation" with the Jewish state by allowing Israelis to visit Tunisia.
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