The Israel Police and the IDF began a joint chase for multiple suspects who broke into the Nevatim Israel Air Force (IAF) Base in southern Israel, late Monday night.
A vehicle believed to be driven by two or three Bedouins — that was reportedly stolen in the town of Dimona — was escaping police when it noticed that the northern gate of the base was open and took the advantage to try and escape.
The suspects abandoned the vehicle after its wheels were punctured by spikes and began escaping by foot.
According to reports, elite units and helicopters were later launched to assist the searches, as the suspects were believed to be hiding somewhere in the base.
At first there was concern that the suspects might cause damage to planes or other sensitive equipment on base, but later an IDF spokesperson clarified that "the base assets are all guarded" and that "there is no danger to the base's soldiers and security facilities."
A few hours later, the IDF reported that there were signs indicating that the suspects had climbed two barbed wire fences and another fence, which is about five meters high, and fled from the base.
As of now, security forces are considering the incident as criminal in nature, and not as terrorism.
The base houses an F-35 squadron. However, an IDF source said there is no danger to any equipment on the base.
The Nevatim AIF base is considered the largest IAF base in the country. It is located southeast of the city of Beersheba.
Due to its secluded location, the base has known several infiltrations and cases of stolen equipment over the years.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this article.