A helicopter ferrying troops to southern Israel shortly after Hamas launched its devastating surprise assault from the Gaza Strip last Saturday was struck by an explosive device fired by Palestinian terrorists.
Dozens of troops from the Paratroopers Brigade were aboard the Sikorsky CH-53 Yasur helicopter when it was struck, but none were hurt, according to Hebrew media accounts published Saturday after the military lifted a gag order on reporting details of the incident.
- The pilots were able to land the helicopter, allowing the soldiers to safely deboard.
Images showed most of the helicopter was destroyed after later going up in flames, with few parts of the aircraft remaining recognizable beyond the rotor and tail.
It was not clear what type of projectile hit the helicopter, with the Ynet news site reporting it was an anti-tank missile and Channel 13 news saying it was a rocket-propelled grenade.
- After the aircraft was disabled, the pilots were transferred to another helicopter to continue flying soldiers to the Gaza border area, according to the reports.
האסון שנמנע של מסוק היסעור: בשבת השחורה הטיס מסוק יסעור עשרות צנחנים לקרב הקשה בבארי. מחבלי החמאס הצליחו לפגוע באר פי ג׳י במסוק. הטייסים הצליחו להנחית את היסעור ואת הצנחנים ומנעו אסון כבד. המסוק נשרף לחלוטין. הטייסים חולצו והמשיכו לטוס.גם כאן יהיו צלשים. כמו ברבים מהקרבות הקשים. pic.twitter.com/xU5qie4Oga
— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) October 14, 2023
The incident occurred on October 7, when over 1,300 people were killed, most of them civilians, and 150-200 taken captive by Hamas terrorists who rampaged through communities near the border, targeted a music festival and attacked military posts following a major incursion from air, sea and land.