UK investigating claims Hamas attack survivors faced 'discrimination' at Manchester Airport

  • The video appeared on social media on Monday.

Claims that survivors of Hamas’s attack on Israel were discriminated against when they arrived at Manchester Airport are being investigated, according to the UK government.

Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the probe in response to a call from the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region to investigate the allegations.

The council said it was made aware that two Israeli nationals, who survived the deadly 7 October terrorist attack on the Nova Music Festival, experienced discriminatory treatment by Border Force officers when they landed at Manchester Airport on Sunday, 24 April.

They came to the UK to raise awareness for a non-profit organisation they founded to help survivors of terror attacks, the council said.

Responding to the video and the claims made by the two men, Marc Levy, from the Jewish Representative Council said: "Given that they're suffering from PTSD, they have been left very visibly shaken and anxious. They quite frankly cannot wait to leave Manchester and go back to Israel as they don't feel safe here."

Mr Levy also told ITV Granada that other incidents at UK airports have been reported to the Council: "Since this story has broken, other people have been in touch to say that similiar incidents have happened, with people being singled out simply because they're travelling as Israelis."

In a letter posted to X, the Jewish Representative Council wrote: "Upon arrival, when Border Patrol noticed they were travelling with Israeli passports, they were asked why they had come to Manchester.

"They responded that as survivors of the Nova Music Festival, they had been invited to share their experiences with the Jewish community in Manchester.

"They were informed that they would need to be questioned.

"The only reason for their detention and interrogation was because they are Israeli."

The Jewish Council said the pair were 'detained and interrogated' at Manchester Airport by Border Force officials. Credit: PA Images

The council said they were detained for two hours, and that it was in possession of a video showing a male officer "speaking in aggressive terms" and in a "demeaning" tone to the two men.

When released, a Border Patrol officer said "they had to make sure that you are not going to do what you are doing in Gaza over here", the letter alleged.

Mr Cleverly replied on the social media platform: "We are investigating this.

"We do not tolerate antisemitism or any form of discrimination.

"This incident will be handled in line with our disciplinary procedures."

A Home Office spokesperson added: “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.”

The Jewish Representative Council had tweeted Granada Reports, writing: "We have been made aware that survivors of the 7th October terrorist attack on the Re’Im Music Festival were discriminated against by @UKBorder when arriving @manairport.

"We have requested an urgent investigation is commenced and assurances are received to ensure passengers with Israeli passports are able to travel without discrimination.

"Thank you to the team at Manchester Airport, as we are aware they have immediately acknowledged and recognised the severity of the allegations contained within our correspondence.

"This issue primarily rests with the Home Secretary and we call upon @JamesCleverly and @ukhomeoffice to ensure this matter is dealt with as a matter of urgency."

Manchester Airport say they're in touch with UK Border Force and the Home Office to ensure they are looking into the issue.

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