JERUSALEM – A helicopter carrying members of a multinational peacekeeping force crashed near Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, killing five Americans, one French and one Czech citizen.

The Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force said eight of its members were involved in the crash and seven had died. At the time, there is no information to suggest that the crash was anything other than an accident, the troop said in a statement.

The force monitors the implementation of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. It is made up of 1,154 soldiers from 13 countries including Australia, Great Britain, Fiji, the United States, and Uruguay.

The force was born in 1981 out of the Security Council’s inability to obtain approval for the United Nations peacekeeping force in Sinai. She urged Israel and Egypt to negotiate the agreement that established the MFO

The Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel was preparing to admit a wounded American on Thursday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The Israeli military said it had messed up a helicopter with members of its elite 669 Rescue Unit on board to evacuate the wounded and was waiting on the tarmac at Ramon Airport near Eilat. However, the rescue mission was canceled after the military said it would not be needed.

Eric Schmitt contributed to coverage from Washington.


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