The conflict between Israel and Palestine is showing no signs of slowing down. With Israel intensifying the airstrikes and hits on Palestine and the Gaza Strip by the day, the number of dead Palestinians only rising by the day, and the global community divided over whom they are supporting, the consequences of actions are going across borders now.
The latest news of a mob of angry people storming a Russian airport and reportedly looking for certain groups of people led the authorities to close the airport itself and divert any more incoming flights.
The incident happened at the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the largest Russian city Dagestan where hundreds of people stormed it while carrying banners and shouting slogans reportedly looking for a flight carrying Israeli passengers that had arrived from Israel’s Tel Aviv.
Makhachkala is one of the more Muslim-dominated regions in Dagestan and on Sunday night, 29th October, videos started surfacing of people rushing inside the Makhachkala Uytash Airport (MCX), with some even going onto the runway.
Some of these videos showed showed few people waving the Palestinian flag according to reports.
A CNN report also verified that some of the crowd outside the airport were holding and chanting slogans of an antisemitic nature like “We are against Jewish refugees,” and “There is no place for child-killers in Dagestan.”
The situation at the airport in Dagestan, where the flight from Israel is due to arrive. pic.twitter.com/j8mbFcGfYO
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 29, 2023
Mobs break into the Makhachkala airport, in Russia’s north Caucasus, looking to lynch Jews after rumors spread about the arrival of Jewish refugees from Israel. pic.twitter.com/stMvyqNUqv
— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) October 29, 2023
The Dagestan Health Ministry has claimed that around 20 people were left injured from the incident, with 2 being in critical condition.
The RIA news agency also reported that around 9 police officers were also injured, with security forces telling Reuters that the passengers on the plane were all safe. The RIA also reported that while 60 people had been detained so far, around 150 of the protesters had been identified.
According to a report by The Guardian, the riots were initially started after several posts were uploaded to the social media site Telegram claiming that a Tel Aviv flight was coming to Makhachkala on Sunday evening and it would have several Israeli or Jewish refugees. Some of the signs also read “We are against Jewish refugees” and “Child killers are not welcome in Dagestan”.
Along with that, some slogans could also be heard as per reports like “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great.”
The Russian state media TASS claimed that “those gathered oppose the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
Sergei Melikov, the head of Dagestan, commented on the incident saying that Dagestanis “empathize with the suffering of victims of the actions of unrighteous people and politicians, and pray for peace in Palestine”.
He further added in a Telegram post that “There is no courage in waiting as a mob for unarmed people who have not done anything forbidden.” Melikov however also stated that external actors were the cause of the riots saying that they happened “because of fakes spread by our enemies”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office also issued a statement saying that Israel “expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to protect the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they may be and to act resolutely against the rioters and against the wild incitement directed against Jews and Israelis.”
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has only been increasing ever since 7th October. Where the Hamas raid killed more than 1,400 Israelis, the resulting backlash by Israel, with repeated bombings on Gaza has, as per local officials killed around 8,000 people as of Sunday.
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