Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested: NPR

Crowds swarmed the airfield of Makhachkala Airport in Russia’s Dagestan region on Sunday night.

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Crowds swarmed the airfield of Makhachkala Airport in Russia’s Dagestan region on Sunday night.

AP

Russian police briefly closed an airport in the Dagestan region after hundreds of people entered the grounds on Sunday in search of a plane carrying passengers from Tel Aviv.

At least 20 people, including nine police officers, were injured at the Makhachkala airport, the local interior ministry said. The report was published in Telegram. 2 people have been hospitalized in critical condition.

Around 60 people were arrested along with local authorities It promises to open a criminal investigation All rioters should be held accountable. The airport has been fully reopened since Monday, but flights from Tel Aviv will be temporarily diverted to other cities. According to the Russian Civil Aviation Authority.

Several videos posted on social media on Sunday showed crowds surrounding the planes on the tarmac. Some can be seen carrying Palestinian flags, shouting anti-Semitic slogans and asking arriving passengers to show their passports to verify their nationality. Like the Associated Press.

In a video, the mob appears Confront an airport employee Near the plane of the Russian operator Red Wings. The worker says the plane is empty and claims to be a Muslim. The New York Times reported.

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In another, apparently recorded inside the plane, a flight attendant can be heard screeching Telling passengers to remain calm and keep the aircraft doors closed. “There’s an angry crowd,” says the voice. “It’s very possible we’ll get caught.”

The unrest erupted as the Israeli army intensified ground operations in Gaza, part of its “second phase of war” with the militant group Hamas.

As the death toll in the conflict continues to rise, tens of thousands of people have taken part in pro-Palestinian demonstrations in New York City, London, Madrid, Casablanca, Istanbul, Islamabad and other cities around the world, calling for a ceasefire. .

Russian leaders, have also called for a mediated solution to the conflict, while carefully criticizing both sides of the conflict. For the Kremlin, fighting in the Middle East could distract from Russia’s own war in Ukraine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that “Israel expects Russian law enforcement to protect the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they are.”

Dagestan, an ethnically diverse, predominantly Muslim region, has a small Jewish population.

Repeated messages from local government leaders He expressed support for the Palestinians While calling more quietly.

“All Dagestanis sympathize with the suffering of the victims of the actions of unjust people and politicians and pray for peace in Palestine,” said the President of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergey Melikov. In a post on Telegram. “But what happened at our airport is outrageous and deserves an appropriate assessment from law enforcement agencies.”

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed to the riots as another example of Russia’s aggressive nationalism.

“This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala, but part of a widespread culture of hatred of Russia towards other countries, propagated by state television, pundits and officials,” Zelenskyy wrote in X.

NPR’s Becky Sullivan Contributed report.

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