Major prankMajor prank

Paratroops officer in tearful goodbye

Deputy battalion commander detonates tear gas grenade in farewell meeting; IDF probing ‘irregular’ incident

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Illustrative - A standard IDF tear gas hand grenade (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Daboos Hassan/Wikipedia)
Illustrative - A standard IDF tear gas hand grenade (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Daboos Hassan/Wikipedia)

The deputy commander of a paratroops battalion gave his officers a tearful goodbye present to remember him by, and the IDF is now investigating.

As a farewell prank, Major Nir Doft set off a tear gas grenade in his office, while his soldiers blocked the door and barred the officers from exiting the room.

During the farewell meeting with officers from his battalion last week, Doft deliberately dropped a pen under the table. When he bent down to pick it up, he strapped on a gas mask he had placed there ahead of time, and then pulled the pin out of the tear gas grenade, which is usually used to disperse demonstrations.

While Doft wore the mask, the rest of the officers suffered from the effects of the gas.

As the people in the room were choking, two soldiers under Doft’s instructions held the door shut and stopped them from leaving the room for a short period of time. At least one of the officers vomited as a result of inhaling the gas in the closed room.

Two days after the incident Doft finished his term, and departed with his family for a short holiday before beginning his next posting, as a commander in the paratroopers regimental training school. However, his future in the new post could be altered following his farewell prank.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office called the incident “irregular” and said it was being dealt with appropriately by the officer’s commanders.

Doft was called up to his post as deputy commander of the paratroopers 202 battalion after his predecessor resigned following an incident in which a soldier under his command was killed by friendly fire in Gaza.

Doft was asked to return to the military even though he was in the middle of his university studies.

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