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Ron Arad

(1958 - ?)

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Ron Arad is an Israeli Air Force pilot who was captured during the First Lebanon War and is still considered as missing-in-action.

Arab (born May 5, 1958) was born in Israe, the son of Batya and the late Dov Arad. Ron and his wife Tami have a daughter, Yuval. Before his capture, Ron was a student of chemical engineering entering his second year of studies at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

A captain and a navigator with the Israeli Air Force, Arad captured by enemy forces on October 16, 1986, after parachuting out of his Phantom jet while on an operation during the First Lebanon War.

On October 16, 1986, Captain Arad was seen parachuting out his IDF Phantom jet while on an operation in southern Lebanon. Arad likely landed in the area of Say'da and was captured by members of the Islamic fundamentalist AMAL Militia who then brought him to Beirut. At that time he was personally held by AMAL's then-head of security, Mustafa Dirani. The leader of AMAL, Nabi Berri, announced that he was holding Arad and proposed a prisoner exchange for Shiite and Lebanese detainees.

In early 1988, Dirani severed his ties with Amal due to ideological differences and took Ron Arad with him. That year, he formed a new group, called the "Resistance of the Believers." Arad was held captive by Dirani's group until the beginning of 1989. After negotiations between "Resistance of the Believers" and the Iranians, Arad was handed over to the Iranian "Revolutionary Guards" in exchange for a large sum of money. Sources in Israel believe that Captain Ron Arad is still being held by this group - and according to an April 8, 1993, edition of the Jerusalem Report, he was held captive somewhere in Iran. More recent rumors indicate he may now be held by an Iranian group in Lebanon and that he is still alive. Schmidtbauer, the influential German negotiator, continues to hope and work for Ron's release.

Sources: The Pedagogic Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for Israel, (c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, Director: Dr. Motti Friedman, Webmaster: Esther Carciente.

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