Remembering Ron Arad

Published: October 16th 2010
in News » Israel

Ron Arad in captivity

It was on October 16, 1986, exactly 24 years ago, when Rod Arad, an Israeli Air Force pilot, had to abandon his Jet Fighter and fell into the hands of the Shiite militia Amal in the hostile Lebanese territory. He has not been seen since.


Ron Arad was on an operational flight. His mission was to attack a terrorist target near the south-western coastal Lebanese city of Sidon. A technical malfunction caused an explosion of the Jet Fighter’s ammunition, and both crew members had to abandon it. Ron Arad's colleague, Yishay Aviram, was luckier than Ron. He was rescued by an Israeli Air Force helicopter heroically.


Ron Arad was not that lucky and fell into captivity. Israel received from Ron three letters and one photo during his first year in captivity, but since then any contact with Ron Arad was lost and the attempts to release or to get information about him were mostly focused intelligence gathering.


Between the years 1986 and 1994, 21 Lebanese men were captured and kidnapped to Israel in order to increase the pressure over Hezbollah and their Iranian patrons, unfortunately without any help.


The most famous Lebanese prisoners in Israel were Mustafa Dirany, who captured Ron Arad, and the Shiite Sheikh Abdul Karim Oubeid, who spent 15 years in an Israeli prison between the years 1989 and 2004.


In some exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hezbollah, Israel received more photos of Ron Arad as well as an 80-page report in Arabic which was defined by Israeli experts as complete nonsense.


Where is Ron Arad?


During the years the mystery deepened and the German and Russian intelligence became involved. It was believed for a while that Ron Arad was held in Iran, and it was also thought that he might have been killed during the Israeli attack against Hezbollah in the village of Maidoon in 1988. Others still say that he is alive and his held by Hezbollah, who refuse to admit it.


The "Born to Freedom Foundation" has offered a $10 million reward to anyone who will provide proven information which will lead to soldiers missing in action (MIAs), among them Ron Arad.


The Born to Freedom website is located at


When he fell into captivity, Ron Arad and his wife Tammy had a little baby named Yuval, now a young woman. Let us hope that both Tammy and Yuval and also the rest of his family will one day have the answer of what had happened to Ron Arad, a son, a husband, a father and a brother.


Today, 24 years after Ron Arad fell into captivity the citizens of the State of Israel and the Jewish communities around the world remember Ron Arad and pray for hope and for an answer.

Related articles: (Ron Arad, captive soldiers, Lebanon, Hezbollah)

Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 1 times