Several parts of engines belonging to F-16 fighters jets have been stolen from an airbase in central Israel in recent days, in a development that represents a serious security breach.

The commander of the base alerted Military Police to the thefts, and an investigation is underway.

Military Police suspect that the base may have been targeted by metal thieves, who may have had inside help, either from a soldier or a civilian serving on the base.

A large vehicle was likely involved in the heist, the investigators suspect.

An IDF spokesman confirmed the thefts, saying an investigation has been launched and military prosecutors will examine its conclusions.

No arrests have been made.

In recent years, a black market in metals has thrived, and thieves managed to steal parts of old F- 15 fighter jet engines and sell them as scrap.

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