An angry crowd in Russia’s mostly Muslim region of Dagestan stormed an airport where a flight from Israel arrived on Sunday, forcing authorities to close the facility and divert flights.
Multiple videos posted on social media showed a crowd of people inside the Makhachkala Uytash Airport (MCX) and on the runway, some waving the Palestinian flag, others forcing their way through closed doors in the international terminal.
In photos and videos verified by CNN, the crowd outside the airport held antisemitic signs that included slogans such as “We are against Jewish refugees,” and “There is no place for child-killers in Dagestan.”
Clashes left at least 10 people injured, including two people in critical condition, according to a statement by the Dagestan Health Ministry late Sunday.
The airport was temporarily closed and flights were diverted, according to a statement from the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, saying “unknown persons” broke into the facility.
The Red Wing Airlines flight from Tel Aviv arrived Sunday at 7:17 p.m. local time, according to Flight Aware, and was quickly surrounded by protesters upon landing.
In one video, a pilot takes to the speaker of his aircraft to say: “It is not safe to open the doors” because “protesters are below our plane.”
According to Russian state media TASS, “those gathered oppose the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
On Sunday Ovadya Isakov, a local representative of the Jewish community, told Russian independent media outlet Podyom that “Israel has lost the information war.”
“The situation is very difficult in Dagestan, people from the community are afraid, they are calling but I don’t know what to advise,” Isakov told the media outlet.
The airport resumed operations on Monday, it said in a statement, while the Kremlin sought to place blame on “external interference.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been receiving extensive updates on the situation in Dagestan from various security agencies and local authorities, and has scheduled an extensive meeting for Monday evening to address the riots and alleged Western influence.
The Russian Jewish community called for strict punishment of the perpetrators and urged for responsible media coverage of Middle East events to prevent radicalization.
“The conflict in the Middle East has already affected the lives of people in Russia and that anti-Israeli sentiment has now turned into open aggression towards even Russian Jews,” Rabbi Alexander Boroda, head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, said in a statement provided to CNN.
“We see that local authorities were not prepared for such incidents and allowed large-scale violations of law and order, mass demonstrations with open threats to Jews and Israeli