Sunday, 7 July 2013

Army: Israeli F16 crashes into sea off Gaza coast

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- An Israeli warplane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday following a malfunction although both crew members were rescued unharmed, a military spokesman told AFP.

"An F16 combat aircraft crashed earlier today into the sea after its engine malfunctioned," he said.

Israeli media reports said the crash took place off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

"The pilot and navigator on board bailed out of their plane and were evacuated to a hospital," the army spokesman said, describing their condition as "stable".

According to the military, the two spent an hour in the sea before being pulled out by the air force's 669 rescue and evacuation unit.

Following the incident, air force chief Major General Amir Eshel "ordered all F16 and F15 aircraft grounded until the circumstances are reviewed," he said. more

Official: Smugglers resume fuel supplies to Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Smugglers resumed pumping fuel to the Gaza Strip through tunnels under the Egyptian border on Sunday, easing a fuel crisis in the enclave, an official said.

Muhammad al-Abadlah, a spokesman for the federation of fuel companies, told Ma'an that enough fuel was being smuggled in to partially meet needs in Gaza.

Meanwhile government official Abdul-Nasser Muhanna said the fuel crisis would be resolved soon.

Muhanna, an official in the general petroleum department, did not give any details on the source of the fuel.

Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels created a crippling fuel crisis in recent days, causing long queues at gas stations across Gaza.

The health ministry in Gaza warned Saturday that hospitals' fuel reserves were down to 20 percent.

Egypt continued to close smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border on Sunday. more