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Captain Ron Arad (1958-)
Arad, a navigator with the Israeli Air Force, was captured on
October 16, 1986, after parachuting out of his Phantom jet. He landed in
the area of Say'da in southern Lebanon and was captured by members of the
Islamic fundamentalist AMAL Militia. Captain Arad was brought to Beirut
and personally held by the then head of security of Amal, Mustafa Dirani*.
The leader of the Amal Militia, Nabi Berri, announced that he was holding
Arad and proposed an 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.
Ron Arad was born in Israel on May 5, 1958, 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 at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, entering his second year of studies.
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