The Yeshiva World
Ten Israelis who landed in Moscow on Friday were denied entry to Russia and sent back to Israel.
The Israeli tourists, six of whom were on an organized tour group, were detained in the airport after arriving in Moscow on an Aeroflot flight.
The Israelis were called into another room, fingerprinted and required to provide a DNA sample. They were then told that they would be returning to Israel on a 7 p.m. flight. Meanwhile, they were required to remain in a small locked room for hours, a Maariv report said. When the plane arrived, the Israelis were led on the plane past all the lines by two airport officials.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that Russian border officials had said that the Israelis “could not adequately explain the reason they were visiting Russia.”
The incident happened a day after the release of Naama Issachar from jail on Thursday after being pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to news reports, one of the conditions that Russia requested for Issachar’s release was decreased restrictions on Russian tourists visiting Israel.
Last month, Israelis were detained several times upon landing in Moscow and questioned. The Russian embassy seemed to justify the detainment of Israelis at the time by stating that: “until December 1, 5,771 Russian tourists were denied entry into Israel. In October alone of this year, 568 Russian tourists were denied entry into Israel and 569 tourists in November. Every day, about 20 tourists who arrive in Israel with money and an organized tour are stopped and sent back to Russia.”