'Ron Arad's fate flashed before me during Schalit deal'

Netanyahu speaks to brother of missing IAF navigator on 25th anniversary of captivity; prime minister meets with David Meidan.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 16, 2011 19:38
2 minute read.
'Ron Arad's fate flashed before me during Schalit deal'

ron arad new 224.88. (photo credit: Channel 1)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Dudu Arad, brother of Ron Arad, on Sunday that the fate of the missing IAF navigator flashed before his eyes when he approved the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap that will see the release of Gilad Schalit.

According Israel Radio, the two spoke on the 25th anniversary of Ron Arad's captivity.

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Netanyahu also shared stories about conversations he had with Dudu's mother, Batya, in which she expressed her longing to see Ron.

Ron Arad, an IAF navigator who parachuted into Lebanon in the 1980s, was captured by the Amal Shi'ite group. He went missing some years later. His fate is unknown.

Also on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with David Meidan, the lead negotiator for the Gilad Schalit release, for a debriefing after Meidan's trip to Cairo to finalize details on the exchange.

According to a PMO spokesman, Netanyahu told Meidan that "the mission will be completed once Gilad is returned to his family."

Meidan was expected to finalize details of the release during his meetings in Cairo. Defense officials said Schalit will be taken across Gaza’s southwestern border into Egypt, likely via the Rafah crossing, where he will be met by Egyptian security officials and a small Israeli delegation, which will verify his identity and ensure he is healthy.

He will then be taken by plane to an IDF base while groups of Palestinian prisoners are transferred from Ketziot to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Egypt and countries abroad.

At the IDF base, Schalit will meet his family and undergo more comprehensive medical exams. From there he is expected to be flown to the Tel Nof Air Force Base near Rehovot for a low key reception where he will be greeted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He will then be flown by helicopter to his home in Mitzpe Hila in the Upper Galilee.

Noam and Aviva Schalit spent Shabbat at their home in Mitzpe Hila preparing for their son’s return. They organized an overnight bag with items from Gilad’s room that the IDF representatives will present to him upon his arrival in Israel on Tuesday.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.



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