Tel Aviv | Sunday night's riot at the Makhachkala Uytash Airport in which Muslims tried to lynch Jews was "probably fueled by Iran," an analyst told the Tazpit Press Service.
"There are still a big amount to antisemitic people in Russia, but most of them are not actively antisemitic," Professor Ze'ev Khanin, an expert on post-Soviet politics and society at Bar-Ilan University, told TPS. "The Russian authorities were not supporting this event, and that it was probably fueled by Iran and other extreme Islamic groups that tried to get an event like this to happen."
A flight from Tel Aviv to Russia's Dagestan Republic in the North Caucasus was forced to redirect on Sunday after pro-Hamas rioters stormed Makhachkala Uytash Airport, seeking to lynch Jewish travelers.
The attack followed on the heels of a Hamas delegation's visit to Moscow for talks with Russian leaders.
"Diplomatic relations between Moscow and Jerusalem will remain, but will sour due the fact that the Russians have chosen a side -- and it's not Israel's side," Khanin predicted.
Hundreds of rioters overran the airport, located in the capital of the Muslim-majority region of Russia. Video footage showed rioters with Palestinian flags shouting "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") as they searched the terminals for Israeli passengers.
Other videos showed Muslim protesters stopping vehicles in the area to ask motorists if they were transporting tourists from the Jewish state.
"We came for the Jews--to kill them with a knife and shoot them," a rioter was quoted as saying. Dagestan is a Muslim region.
Analysts recently told TPS that Russia will exploit the Gaza war to derail Saudi peace efforts.
An Israeli statement issued jointly by the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry said the government viewed "with utmost gravity attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere."
The statement added, "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."
Russian authorities said the airport will remain closed for inbound flights until November 6.
Israel launched a military campaign against Hamas in Gaza after the terror group killed more than 1,400 people and took at least 220 hostages to the Strip on October 7.