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Ron Arad Classified as Missing in Action, 1986

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 16, 1986

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGaL7PZlZ1-/

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#onthisday, 1986, former IDF pilot, Lieutenant Colonel, Ron Arad, was captured by Lebanese group, Amal. He was declared missing in action and has been presumed dead.

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Arad parachuted out of his Phantom jet and was met by enemy forces, namely the Islamic fundamentalist Amal militia, who proposed a prisoner exchange with the Israeli government to reclaim Shiite and Lebanese detainees.

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Arad was on a bombing raid when he was forced to abandon his Phantom jet that had been subjected to ground fire. He was flying with a pilot who was rescued by Israeli forces, but Arad did not make it to safety.

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Rather, he was apprehended by Amal, and head-of-security Mustafa Dirani held him. Nabi Berry, Amal’s leader, sent letters and photos of Arad to the Israeli government in the hopes of initiating a prisoner exchange.

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Before Berry could trade him for desired Shiite and Lebanese prisoners from Israel, Arad was taken by Dirani, who broke from Amal due to ideological differences.

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Arad was a captive under Dirani’s new group, the Resistance of the Believers. However, Arad was soon handed off to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in exchange for a large sum of money.

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Since the hand-off, little has been revealed about Arad’s whereabouts. Dirani was found in 1994 and was interrogated, but he had no knowledge about what happened to Arad after the Iranians took him.

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An Israeli intelligence commission with the goal of filling in the gaps on Arad’s life concluded that Arad had likely died due to illness in an Iranian Revolutionary Guards facility between 1995 and 1997. An alternative theory suggests that he died during an escape attempt back in 1988.

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Ultimately, no remains of Arad could not be found. All that was left of him was a letter he had written to his family back in 1987.

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Israel officially declared Ron Arad to be dead in 2008 after years of uncertainty following his capture.

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✍: @madelynilana

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#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#ronarad#captured#iran#lebanon#mia#idf#israel#otdjh

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ron-arad

Image Source:

https://www.isracast.com/ron-arad-missing-in-action-israeli-soldier/

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