A flight from Tel Aviv to Russia’s Dagestan Republic was forced to redirect on Sunday after pro-Hamas rioters stormed Makhachkala Uytash Airport, reportedly seeking to attack Israeli travelers.
Hundreds of people overran the airport, located in the capital of the Muslim-majority region of southern Russia. Video footage showed rioters with Palestinian flags shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as they searched the terminals for Israeli passengers.
🚨#BREAKING: Mobs of assailants break into the airport in Dagestan, Russia looking for #Jews to lynch after learning that a flight from #Israel was arriving. This is a developing story. pic.twitter.com/8k9b9fz72s— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) October 29, 2023
Other videos showed Muslim protesters stopping vehicles in the area to ask motorists if they were transporting tourists from the Jewish state. “We came for the Jews—to kill them with a knife and shoot them,” a rioter was quoted as saying.
According to Israeli officials, “A limited number of Israelis and Jews are currently isolated and under guard at the airport.” “We are working on having them depart on a connection flight to Moscow once conditions allow it,” “Israeli security officials and the Israeli ambassador are working with the local security authorities.”
The plane from Tel Aviv was redirected to a nearby airport, but a mob also started gathering there, according to Israel’s Channel 12. The flight crew subsequently ordered the doors of the aircraft to be locked, as Russian security forces declared the tarmac a closed area.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry said they were following events in Dagestan and “expect Russian law enforcement to maintain the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews and to act with determination against rioters and wild incitement against Jews and Israelis.
“Israel takes a grave view of attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere,” added the joint statement. Russia’s state-run RT outlet reported the incident came only a day after Muslims stormed a hotel in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt in an attempt to harm “Jewish refugees” rumored to be staying there.
Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben Zvi was working to ensure the safety of Israeli tourists in the country.
Jewish president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the mob, saying: “Appalling videos from Makhachkala, Russia, where an angry mob broke into the airport searching for Israeli citizens on the flight from Tel Aviv.