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Hundreds Storm Airport in Dagestan in Search of Israeli Passengers 2024-04-17 05:48:26

Russian police briefly closed the airport in Dagestan, a republic in the far south of Russia, after hundreds of people stormed the premises on Sunday in search of a plane carrying passengers arriving from Tel Aviv.

At the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, at least 20 people were injured, including nine police officers, according to a statement from the local Ministry of Internal Affairs published on Telegram. Two individuals are in critical condition.

Approximately 60 people were arrested, and local authorities have promised to initiate criminal proceedings to hold all participants in the disturbances accountable. The airport fully reopened on Monday, but flights from Tel Aviv will be temporarily rerouted to other cities, as reported by Rosaviation.

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Israel refuses to agree to a ceasefire, stated Netanyahu, as military operations in the Gaza Strip continue. MIDDLE EAST CRISIS — EXPLANATION Israel advances into the Gaza Strip as pro-Palestinian protests spread worldwide Independent Russian media outlet "Meduza" reported that the crowd reacted to a flurry of Telegram messages suggesting that a plane arriving from Tel Aviv was transporting "Jewish refugees."

In several video clips posted on social media on Sunday, crowds of people can be seen surrounding planes on the runway. According to translations by news agencies such as the Associated Press, some individuals can be seen carrying Palestinian flags, shouting anti-Semitic phrases, and wandering through the terminal, asking arriving passengers to show their passports to confirm their citizenship.

In one video, the mob confronts an airport worker near a plane operated by the Russian carrier Red Wings. The worker informs them that the plane is empty and identifies as a Muslim, according to The New York Times.

In another clip, presumably recorded inside the plane, a flight attendant can be heard instructing passengers to remain calm and keep the plane doors closed. "There's an angry mob out there," the voice says. "It's entirely possible they'll catch us."

The disturbances erupted as Israeli military forces intensified ground operations in Gaza, which is part of the so-called "second phase" of the conflict with Hamas.

As the death toll from the conflict continued to rise, tens of thousands of people gathered in New York, London, Madrid, Casablanca, Istanbul, Islamabad, and other cities over the weekend to participate in pro-Palestinian protests, calling for a ceasefire.

Russian leaders have also called for a mediated end to the conflict while leaning towards supporting the Palestinians. For the Kremlin, the Middle East conflict could also divert attention from Russia's war in Ukraine.

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In the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it was stated on Sunday that Israel "expects Russian law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they are."

Latest news about Ukraine: US aid fails, and Slovakia chooses a pro-Russian leader RUSSIA-UKRAINE MEETING RESULTS. Latest news about Ukraine: US aid fails, and Slovakia chooses a pro-Russian leader Dagestan is primarily a Muslim republic in Russia's North Caucasus. The majority of the Jewish population emigrated to Israel after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but family and business ties with the small Jewish community remain strong.

Messages from Dagestani leaders have repeatedly expressed support for the Palestinians while still calling for calm.

"Federal authorities and international organizations are making every effort to achieve a ceasefire against the civilian population of Gaza," the regional government's statement published on Telegram reads. "We urge the residents of the republic not to succumb to the provocations of destructive groups and not to spread panic in society."

As communication is being restored in Gaza, new scenes of destruction are emerging. VISUAL SHOW As communication is being restored in Gaza, new scenes of destruction are emerging. In a similar tone, the Kremlin on Monday accused "external interference" of inciting the unrest, and its spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that bad actors from the West were spreading information that was dividing Russians, according to an Associated Press report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with top security officials to discuss the reasons behind the events, Peskov told journalists.

RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency, quoted the governor of Dagestan as saying that the disturbances were coordinated through Telegram by "traitors" based in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the disturbances another example of aggressive Russian nationalism.

"This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala but rather part of the widespread Russian culture of hatred toward other nations, which is promoted by state television, experts, and authorities," Zelenskyy wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

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