Media caption, Watch: Anti-Israel protesters storm airport in Russia, forcing it to close
By Oliver Slow & Laurence Peter
Israel has urged Russia to protect “all its citizens and all Jews” after a large mob, some shouting antisemitic slogans, stormed a Dagestan airport.
Video footage on social media showed an angry crowd running through the airport in Makhachkala, reportedly seeking people arriving from Tel Aviv.
Some of the crowd ran onto the runway and surrounded aircraft there.
Russia’s aviation agency said the situation was under control after authorities had arrived on the scene.
Rosaviatsia added that the airport would be “provisionally closed” until 6 November.
Video clips showed hundreds of people storming the airport terminal, with some waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
Earlier, local media reported that some demonstrators were stopping cars outside Makhachkala’s airport demanding to see documents, in a chaotic search for Israeli passports.
Several people were injured, health officials said.
The Israeli prime minister’s office said Russia must act decisively against incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis.
Dagestan is a mainly Muslim Russian republic in the North Caucasus, home to some 3.1 million people on the western edge of the Caspian Sea. Its government said a criminal case had been opened for civil disorder.
While voicing support for Gaza, it appealed to citizens to remain calm and not take part in such protests. There have been widespread protests internationally against Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
Dagestan’s Governor Sergei Melikov denounced the mob invasion of the airport, in a post on messaging service Telegram.
“There is no honour in hurling abuse at strangers, searching their pockets looking for their passports!” he wrote. He condemned “attacks on women with children”.
The mob’s actions, he said, were a “stab in the back” for Dagestani patriots, including those fighting in Ukraine in the Russian armed forces.
“What happened at our airport is outrageous and should receive the appropriate assessment from law enforcement. This will be done,” he wrote.
Israel’s foreign ministry said the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was working with Russian authorities, adding that Israel “views gravely attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere”.
“Israel expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to safeguard all Israeli citizens and Jews, whoever they may be, and to take robust action against the rioters and against the unbridled incitement being directed at Jews and Israelis,” the ministry statement said.
On Saturday a crowd in the city of Khasavyurt in Dagestan gathered outside a hotel where they believed some Israelis were staying, a local news website, ChP Dagestan, reported.
Later police reportedly let some into the hotel so they could see for themselves that no Israelis were there.
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