Arad's family contacts Iran, Lebanon

Brother Chen Arad: 'Contacts include political and religious establishments.'

ron arad 88 (photo credit: )
ron arad 88
(photo credit: )
Chen Arad, brother of the kidnapped navigator Ron Arad, reported that his family was able to directly contact sources in Iran and Lebanon in an attempt to extract information concerning the fate of his missing brother. According to an interview in London's Al Hayat, he stated that the contacted sources included members of the political and religious establishments in those countries, Israel Radio reported Friday morning. Lt.-Col. Ron Arad, an Israeli Air Force navigator, went missing on October 16, 1986 when his plane was shot down over Lebanon. He was captured by members of the Lebanese Amal Shi'ite movement and was held by its then-chief security officer Mustafa Dirani, who later reportedly sold him to Iran. Subsequently, Hizbullah spiritual leader in south Lebanon, Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid, was abducted from Lebanon in 1989 and, five years later, Dirani himself was snatched from his home. Both were brought to Israel. They were initially intended to have been bargaining chips for the return of Arad or at least for reliable information about his fate. Yet, Dirani and Obeid were among those released by Israel in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three soldiers, St.-Sgts. Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham, and Omar Suwayeed . The second phase of the exchange deal was reported to stipulate the release of more prisoners held by Israel, including Lebanese Druse Samir Kuntar, in return for concrete information about Arad. Although the first phase was completed in January 2004, there have been no reports of significant progress in the second stage.