Israeli army fighter jet crashes into sea, crew unharmed

JERUSALEM (AFP/Reuters) - An Israeli army fighter jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday following a malfunction, but both crew members were rescued unharmed, a military spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

The F-16 warplane crashed due to an engine malfunction, and Israel subsequently grounded all its F-15 and F-16 combat aircraft pending a review of the incident, a military spokesman said.

The pilot and navigator on board managed to safely bail out of the United States-made plane, and a military rescue unit came to evacuate them by helicopter, the spokesman and Israeli media reports said.

"An F-16 combat aircraft crashed earlier today in the sea after the engine malfunctioned," the spokesman said. He added that the air force commander had decided to "ground all F16 and
F15 planes until circumstances of the incident are reviewed".

Israel's Channel 2 television said that the crash occurred off the coast of the Hamas Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip, a territory that also borders on Egypt.

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