An angry mob carrying Palestinian flags invaded an airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan on Sunday in search of "Jewish refugees" amid rumors of an Israeli plane's arrival.
Numerous young men yelled "Allahu Akbar" and brandished Palestinian flags as they rampaged through the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan, as Breitbart News reported.
Islamic locals allegedly attempted to track down Jews arriving in the Russian-controlled republic after online rumors of Tel Aviv refugees landing at the airport, according to Russian state media RT.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 29, 2023
According to the Times of Israel, a flight from Israel was rerouted due to the riots and landed at a separate airport, where it encountered additional riots.
Social media footage and a report by the Russian news outlet Lenta claimed to show the mob breaking onto the runway and going plane by plane, checking passports and questioning passengers if they were Jewish.
In one incident, Dagestanis encircled a young man, took his passport, and shouted, "You are a Jew!" The individual, however, explained that he was not Jewish but rather an Uzbek traveler.
Eventually, Russian riot police arrived to disperse the mob; however, tensions reportedly remain high at the time of this report, with demonstrators demanding that police expel Jews from Dagestan.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement stating, “The State of Israel views with utmost gravity attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere.
“The Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council are monitoring the development of events in southern Russia, in the Dagestan district.
“Israel expects the Russian legal authorities to safeguard the well-being of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they are and to take strong action against the rioters and against the wild incitement being directed against Jews and Israelis.
“Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alex Ben Zvi is working with the Russian authorities to secure the well-being of Jews and Israelis at the site.”
The incident occurred just days after a similar mob of hundreds of Islamic Dagestan residents ransacked a hotel in the city of Khasavyurt in response to rumors that Israelis had taken up residence there.
Earlier on October 28, hundreds of Khasavyurt residents demanded the eviction of Israeli guests from the hotel. Locals congregated in the vicinity of two hotels in Khasavyurt due to rumors that Israelis had moved in.
Another hotel was also overrun by a mob, which demanded that visitors present their passports as evidence that they were not Jewish. In an apparent effort to assuage the ire of the mob, the hotel's administration posted a sign prohibiting Jews from lodging there and announced that none were present.
Sergei Melikov, the head of the Republic of Dagestan, attributed the incidents to social media hoaxes that incited "gullible people."