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Investigation launched after Israeli survivors of attack by Hamas claim discrimination at UK’s Manchester Airport

LONDON: An investigation has been launched after Israeli citizens who survived the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas claimed they were victims of discrimination at Manchester Airport in the UK.

A letter written by the Jewish Representative Council for Greater Manchester addressed to the airport’s management company said that the two passengers had “faced aggressive questioning” on Sunday by UK immigration officials and that they had been targeted “because they are Israeli.”

The council added that the Israeli nationals had been “invited to share their experiences with the Jewish community in Manchester.”

About 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attack launched from Gaza in October, prompting a brutal retaliation from Israeli forces in the enclave and the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians.

“We write to address concerns about discriminatory treatment by Border Force officers towards two Jewish, Israeli nationals who arrived at Manchester Airport on March 24, 2024, from Brussels on flight SN2183,” the letter read.

“The two men were survivors of the attacks at the Re’im (Nova) Music Festival in Israel, by the terrorist group Hamas on Oct. 7. They were responsible for the rescue of a number of other survivors of the attack,” it added.

The two passengers were allegedly detained for two hours before staff told them that they “had to make sure that you are not going to do what you are doing in Gaza over here.” They were then released.

The UK’s Home Secretary James Cleverly said the incident at Manchester Airport would be looked into.

“We are investigating this. We do not tolerate antisemitism or any form of discrimination,” he posted to X on Monday. “This incident will be handled in line with our disciplinary procedures.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the complaint made against Border Force staff at Manchester Airport and are investigating these claims. While the facts and circumstances are being established, it must be reiterated that we do not tolerate antisemitism, in any forms, anywhere.”

Manchester Airport said it was in contact with the Home Office regarding the investigation.

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