Israel has issued a plea to Russia to secure the safety of all its citizens and Jews following an outburst of mob violence at an airport in Dagestan. The belligerent crowd, with a portion voicing antisemitic slogans, reportedly sought individuals arriving from Tel Aviv.
Numerous social media posts offered grim visuals of the tumultuous mob flooding the premises of Makhachkala airport. Some even audaciously ventured onto the runway, encircling planes grounded there. Russia’s aviation authority, Rosaviatsia, later assured that order was restored by security forces.
The airport was ruled out of bounds and is set to remain so until Tuesday, announced Rosaviatsia. Russian news outlets report that law enforcement has apprehended sixty individuals suspected of participating in the mob, with the information coming via local interior ministry.
Videos depicting the chaos showed hundreds launching an unyielding assault on the airport terminal, some brandishing Palestinian flags. A frenzy ensued outside the airport as well, with protestors purportedly intercepting vehicles to inspect documents, hoping to single out Israeli passports.
The health ministry of the republic confirmed that twenty individuals, including several police officers, had been wounded in the upheaval, with a few sustaining serious injuries and two in dire condition.
Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim Russian republic located on the Caspian Sea’s western edge, houses approximately 3.1 million inhabitants. As a consequence of the disorder, the provincial government has initiated a criminal proceeding for civil disorder.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s office demanded Russia’s determined stand against instigations of violence aimed at Jews and Israelis. Meanwhile, the White House fervently denounced the antisemitic protests in Dagestan and pledged unwavering support to the global Jewish community amidst a concerning rise in antisemitism.
Even as Dagestan’s government indicated its solidarity with Gaza, it fervently implored its citizens to maintain calm and not participate in such protests. The republic has seen a spate of demonstrations criticizing Israel’s lethal attacks on Gaza.
Governor Sergei Melikov of Dagestan expressed his vehement disapproval of the mob’s invasion of the airport. Melikov rebuked the mob’s aggressive tactics of intimidating strangers and rummaging through their belongings in the quest for passports, particularly targeting women with children.
Dubbing the mob’s maneuvers as a betrayal of Dagestani patriots, he ensured that the offenders would face punitive measures as mandated by law enforcement.
Reiterating its concern for the safety of its citizens and Jews everywhere, Israel’s foreign ministry announced that the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was closely monitoring the situation with Russian authorities. The ministry hopes the Russian law enforcement will clamp down on the rioters and curb the vicious hate campaign against Jews and Israelis.
In a related incident, a mob congregated outside a hotel in Khasavyurt City, Dagestan, suspecting the presence of Israeli guests. Subsequently, the police reportedly allowed a few to enter the hotel to assure them of the absence of any Israeli occupants.