PM on air force chopper crash: ‘Pilots gave their lives for Israel’s security’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett comments on yesterday’s chopper crash that killed two air force pilots.

“It’s a difficult day for Israel. We lost two sons, two pilots, some of our best,” he says. “I share in the grief of the families for the loss of Lt. Col. Erez Sachyani and Maj. Chen Fogel, men who gave their lives for Israel’s security, day after day, night after night.”

Bennett also wished a swift recovery to the naval officer wounded in the crash.

Israeli Navy chief David Saar Salam visits Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center to see the naval officer.

Washed up parts of a military helicopter lie on the ground after it crashed off the coast of Haifa on the night of January 3, 2021. (Alon Nadav/Flash90)

Sachyani and Fogel were killed in the crash yesterday night, as the AS565 Panther helicopter hit the sea off the coast of Haifa. Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin has grounded the choppers, which are used in cooperation with the navy due to their capability to land on missile ships. The military is investigating the accident.

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