Moment Israeli brothers who are heroes of Nova massacre are detained for hours at Manchester Airport

26 March 2024, 12:54 | Updated: 26 March 2024, 13:04

Border officials seen examining Israeli nationals at Manchester Airport

By Jenny Medlicott

This is the moment two heroic Israeli brothers who survived the Nova festival Hamas attack were detained at Manchester Airport after flying to the UK to speak about their experience.

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The two Israeli brothers Daniel, 23, and Neria Sharabi, 22, arrived at Manchester Airport on Sunday night when they were taken in for questioning by the Border Force staff.

In a video taken of their exchange the Border officials, one of the officers can be heard saying in an aggressive tone: “Knock the attitude off. We've made the decision that you're coming in, so just let us do the checks we need to do, and keep quiet.

“Look at me. Are you clear with that? Good. We're the bosses not you.”

The brothers have since demanded an apology from the British government over the incident as it was revealed the pair were heroes of the October 7 massacre and saved some 30 people during the attack.

Daniel told the MailOnline: “I have no doubt at all that we were detained because we were Israeli.

“We kept asking the officials why they had stopped us – was it because we are Israeli or because we are Jewish?

“Of course they never admitted it, but it was obvious to us it was the only reason.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed that an investigation had been launched into the incident after it had been shared online.

Mr Cleverly wrote on X: “We are investigating this.

“We do not tolerate antisemitism or any form of discrimination.

“This incident will be handled in line with our disciplinary procedures.”

Daniel Sharabi said he wanted an apology from the British government.
Daniel Sharabi said he wanted an apology from the British government. Picture: Instagram
Neria Sharabi spoke about his experience with the Border Force officials.
Neria Sharabi spoke about his experience with the Border Force officials. Picture: Instagram

Daniel continued: "I'm glad that Mr Cleverly has launched an investigation into this – I hope the people who interrogated us learn some lessons from this."

Speaking about his experience with the Border Force officials, Neria told the outlet: “They just started asking us what we came to do here, and I said to them that I survived the October 7 massacres and I'm here to share my stories.

“And the second I said it, he just flipped. From that moment he just started to interrogate us. He told us to 'sit over there, don't move, we need to interrogate you.

“They just started asking us a lot of weird questions, if we're still with the army, how long we served, what we do.

“In the end, they didn't find anything, and the cops started to get angry and mad because they got nowhere.”

It comes after the Jewish Representative Council (JRC) of Greater Manchester and Region shared a letter on X on Monday saying the brothers had come to the UK to speak about their experience of the Hamas attack.

But upon arrival at Manchester Airport they were then told they needed to be questioned, the group said.

The letter reads: “We write to address concerns about discriminatory treatment by Border Force officers towards two Jewish, Israeli nationals who arrived at Manchester Airport on 24 March 2024, from Brussels on flight SN2183.

"The two men were survivors of the attacks at the Re'im (Nova) Music festival in Israel, by the terrorist group Hamas on 07 October. They were responsible for the rescue of a number of other survivors of the attack.

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"They suffer from PTSD and had come to the UK to speak of their experiences as survivors of terrorism and to raise awareness for a not-for-profit organisation they have established to help survivors of the terror attacks.

"Upon arrival, when Border Patrol noticed they were travelling with Israeli passports, they were asked why they had come to Manchester. They responded that as survivors of the Nova Music Festival they had been invited to share their experiences with the Jewish community in Manchester. They were informed that they would need to be questioned.

"They only reason for their detention and interrogation was because they were Israeli."

The pair were allegedly detained for two hours before they were told “they had to make sure that you are not going to do what you are doing in Gaza over here” after their release.

Marc Levy, Chief Executive of the JRC added in the letter: “We unequivocally condemn the fact that Israeli nationals were detained and subjected to abuse by a Border Police Officer.

“The comment beyond their release proves beyond any doubt that this individual was motivated by antisemitic intent.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the complaint made against Border Force staff at Manchester Airport and are investigating these claims.

“While the facts and circumstances are being established, it must be reiterated that we do not tolerate antisemitism, in any forms, anywhere.”