Fury as two brothers who survived October 7 Hamas attack ‘detained because they were Israeli’ at Manchester Airport

26 March 2024, 07:13 | Updated: 26 March 2024, 07:17

James Cleverly confirmed an investigation has been launched.
James Cleverly confirmed an investigation has been launched. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

James Cleverly said an investigation has been launched over allegations that two brothers, who claim to be survivors of the October 7 Hamas attack, were ‘detained’ by UK Border Force 'because they were Israeli'.

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The Jewish Representative Council (JRC) of Greater Manchester and Region said the two individuals concerned are survivors of the Nova Music Festival and suffer from PTSD.

In a letter to Manchester Airport Group published on X, alongside a video of the incident, the group said the pair 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 wrote in the letter.

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."

In separate footage uploaded by a 'friend' of the two individuals, a Border Force officer can be heard saying: “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 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.

Home Secretary James Cleverly responded to the post confirming that the incident was being investigated.

He wrote: “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.”

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.”

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