'Anti-Israel mob' storms airport in Dagestan 'searching for Jews' forcing flight from Tel Aviv to divert

29 October 2023, 19:49 | Updated: 30 October 2023, 09:13

Plane targeted by mob at Dagestan airport in Russia

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A flight from Tel Aviv to the Russian Republic of Dagestan has been forced to divert after Makhachkala airport was stormed by an 'anti-Israeli mob hunting for Jews'.

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The plane was forced to land at an alternate airport, though protests also broke out there after it was reported where the plane would land instead.

The pilot of the plane instructed the passengers to remain inside the plane as the police moved in to protect them, Russian state media has reported.

Video footage posted online shows huge swathes of men running into Makhachkala airport, with hundreds appearing to make it onto the runway.

Other footage shows a huge mob running through the airport after they learned that the flight was scheduled to land from Tel Aviv.

Russian state-owned RIA Novosti outlet reported that the airport was forced to close due to riots taking place.

"Israel expects the Russian authorities to protect all Israeli citizens and all Jews, and to act decisively against the rioters and against incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said after the incident.

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Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "I don't think we'd ever imagine that in 2023 we would see a modern day pogrom happening in Russia with the Muslim community of Dagestan."

She added: "It's just very sad because it's not just in Chechnya, in Dagestan, but we've seen it in the streets of London unfortunately as well.

"100,000 people shouting 'from the river to the sea' which means the annihilation of the State of Israel - many people shouting 'death to the Jews'.

"So I don't think this problem of the rising anti-Semitism is solely in Russia, it really is in every capital in the world right now."

She said anti-Semitism is developing in capitals across the world and said "Europe is the next stop and the UK has a big problem on its hands".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued a statement as he said the mob's actions are "not an isolated incident...but part of Russia's widespread culture of hatred towards other nations".

"Appalling videos from Makhachkala, Russia, where an angry mob broke into the airport searching for Israeli citizens on the flight from Tel-Aviv," he said.

"This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala, but rather part of Russia’s widespread culture of hatred toward other nations, which is propagated by state television, pundits, and authorities.

"The Russian foreign minister has made a series of antisemitic remarks in the last year. The Russian President also used antisemitic slurs. For Russian propaganda talking heads on official television, hate rhetoric is routine.

"Even the most recent Middle East escalation prompted antisemitic statements from Russian ideologists. Russian antisemitism and hatred toward other nations are systemic and deeply rooted.

'Hatred is what drives aggression and terror. We must all work together to oppose hatred."

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