New intelligence documents estimate that Israeli navigator Ron Arad died a short while after he was taken captive and not as had previously been believed, according to a Channel 2 report Monday evening.
According to the report, 30 years after Arad was taken captive, intelligence agencies attempted to solve the mystery of his disappearance, as he was then still considered to be missing.
Arad’s family was informed about all the new developments in formulating the intelligence reports, including documents and new testimonies which have been revealed.
On October 16, 1986, Arad, who held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was an Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer, flew a mission against PLO targets in Lebanon with pilot Yishai Aviram.
A bomb dropped by their F-4 Phantom II apparently exploded prematurely, causing damage to the aircraft and forcing both crewmen to eject.
Aviram was located by an Israeli Bell AH-1 Cobra a few hours later, and escaped by clinging to one of its landing skids as it flew away while under heavy enemy fire, but Arad was captured by the Lebanese Amal.
Much effort was invested in trying to determine Arad’s whereabouts and his fate, to no avail.
However, based on the new information, it is estimated that Arad was transferred from the ‘Amal’ organization, which had originally held him, to Iranian hands, and died during the course of his first years of captivity.