'Missing IAF navigator Ron Arad was tortured and killed in 1988'
By NOAM AMIR/MAARIV HASHAVUA
February 20, 2016 15:12
1 minute read.
A Lebanese military tribunal which is hearing the case of five nationals arrested for alleged collaboration with the Israeli Mossad could shed new light on the fate of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad.
One of the defendants in the case told the tribunal that Arad was tortured and killed in 1988.
Arad’s whereabouts have been a mystery since he aborted his plane over southern Lebanon 30 years ago. Israel at the time accused the Shi’ite militia Amal of holding Arad prisoner, but the movement never confirmed or denied the Israeli claim.
In 2006, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said that he believed Arad was dead and that his body was missing, though there was no explanation given as to how he died.
The Israeli government has never officially declared Arad dead, and it engaged Arab and Lebanese parties in talks for possible prisoner swaps in order to secure his release. In addition, Jewish groups around the world enlisted in the cause and offered substantial monetary prizes for any information leading to Arad’s freedom.
One of the defendants in the Lebanese case said that he gave Israel false information about Arad in exchange for money.