Helicopter crash kills general in Israel

The two were identified as Brig. Gen. Tal Shmuel Eldar, 45, of Kibbutz Palmachim and Lt. Ilan Gur, 20, from Kibbutz Malkiya.

Israeli media reported that during Sunday's exercise, Eldar told officers in a second Cobra helicopter taking part in the operation that he and Gur felt shaking in the tail of the helicopter.

Eldar radioed that he was in control of the situation and was going to try to land at a nearby base.

Shortly after, the helicopter broke apart and fell into the sea.

The commander of the air force, Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliahu, described Eldar as one of the "leading helicopter pilots in the air force, a determined fighter who took part in many secret missions."

Eldar was part of a commission that investigated last year's collision of two helicopters on the Lebanon border, killing 73 Israeli troops.

Sunday's crash came in the wake of an accident earlier this month, when an Israeli jet hit an antenna and crashed near the West Bank town of Nablus, killing the pilot and navigator.