An Israeli Air Force soldier is being questioned after he prank-called an IDF operations room, saying he was being kidnapped. As a result, the military and police launched a largescale operation that involved the deployment of forces and a Shin-Bet investigation.

IDF soldier in operation (archive)

IDF soldier in operation (archive) Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

IDF troops were deployed on Wednesday after the Air Force received an alert of a soldier being abducted. After six hours of activity and coordination with the Israel Police and Shin-Bet, the military discovered that the soldier had faked the incident.

According to Israel’s Hadashot News, the incident began when a soldier from the 161 Squadron of the Israeli Air Force, who did not appear for duty in over a month, called an IAF operations room claiming he was being kidnapped and then immediately hung up. As a result, the IDF deployed forces, reinforced troops in West Bank checkpoints and alerted the Shin-Bet and Border Police, despite suspicions that the call was a prank.

The IDF said in a statement that it treats any report of abduction seriously. The military added that upon receiving the report, the matter was thoroughly investigated and ultimately dropped after the soldier was found. The IDF’s criminal investigation division (CID) is now handling the case.