Russia: mob storms Dagestan airport in search for Israelis
Against the backdrop of the Gaza conflict, anti-Jewish attacks have been on the rise in the Muslim-dominated Russia's North Caucasus. Israel urged Russian authorities to protect Israelis and Jews
A violent crowd stormed the airport in Makhachkala, in the Republic of Dagestan in southern Russia, on Sunday evening in search of Israeli citizens after word spread that a plane was arriving from Israel.
Russian news reports said people in the crowd shouted anti-Semitic slogans and tried to storm the plane, which had landed from Tel Aviv. Video on social media showed some in the crowd on the landing field waving Palestinian flags.
The pro-Palestinian protesters broke through doors in the terminal, with some running onto the runway and others breaking through barriers to check cars leaving the airport, according to videos posted on social media.
Numerous people also poured onto the airfield. The airport was temporarily closed, and arriving planes were diverted to other airports, the Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsia said. The government of Dagestan reported that "the situation is under control, law enforcement is working at the scene."
Israel urges Russia to protect Israelis, Jews
Israel urged Russian authorities to protect Israelis and Jews in their jurisdictions following media reports of potential reprisals by pro-Palestinian protesters in Dagestan.
A statement by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was working with Russian authorities. "The State of Israel views gravely attempts to harm Israelis citizens and Jews anywhere," the statement said.
"Israel expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to safeguard all Israeli citizens and Jews, whoever they may be, and to take robust action against the rioters and against the unbridled incitement being directed at Jews and Israelis," the Foreign Ministry statement said.
Anti-Semitic rage in North Causacus
Authorities in Dagestan called on people taking part in storming the local airport looking for Israelis to stop "illegal acts," asking its residents not to "succumb to provocations."
"We recommend that all persons who have violated the operating procedures of the (airport) facility not to continue illegal acts and not to interfere with the work of airport employees," Dagestan's government said on Telegram.
The storming of Makhachkala airport was not an isolated incident, but part of a broader trend in the predominantly Muslim region of the North Caucasus.
On Saturday, a crowd of angry people surrounded a hotel in the city of Khasavyurt in Dagestan because of a rumor that refugees from Israel were staying there. According to local reports, several dozen men entered the hotel to allegedly check the passports of hotel guests.
In Nalchik on Sunday, tires were set on fire next to a Jewish cultural center under construction. The building was defaced with extremist slogans such as "Death to the Jews," according to security officials in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. And in the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia, demonstrators called for the expulsion of the local Jewish population.
Published: 30 Oct 2023, 11:03 AM