AWOL IDF soldier faked his kidnapping

IDF scrambled forces after AWOL soldier calls his base and says he was kidnapped by terrorists. Report turned out to be prank call.

Tzvi Lev ,

 IDF Military Police
IDF Military Police
IDF Spokespersons Unit

The IDF scrambled forces on Wednesday after getting a call from a soldier who said that he had been kidnapped by terrorists.

The soldier, who Hadashot 2 named as Yehuda Buzaglo, had been AWOL (absent without official leave) for over 6 weeks when his base got a call from him claiming that he had been kidnapped. The soldier then hung up the phone.

The call put the military into a frenzy and several units were dispatched to look for him. After the Shin Bet pinpointed his cell phone, Buzaglo was found in Tiberias partying with his friends and was arrested by the IDF Military Police. He denies all connection to the kidnapping claim, alleging that his phone had been stolen.

A statement from the IDF Spokesperson Unit confirmed the report and said that Military Police had opened an investigation. "We take the personal security of everyone serving in the IDF very seriously," said the IDF.

A similar incident happened almost exactly two years ago when an IDF soldier named Niv Asraf staged his abduction near Hevron, causing the army to launch a frantic manhunt. He eventually admitted that he had fabricated the story in order to avoid paying a large gambling debt.

In 2014, the IDF and the Israel Police set up roadblocks when a soldier serving in the Tzrifin base called his commander and said that he had been forced into a car by Hamas terrorists. The report turned out to be false and the soldier was sentenced to a lengthy jail sentence.