With the media's attention riveted on the deal to exchange over 1,000 terrorists for Gilad Shalit, the Arad family on Sunday commemorates the 25th anniversary of the loss of IDF airman Ron Arad in Lebanon. In an interview with Army Radio, Eliad Shraga, chairman of an organization that has been working to bring Arad home, said that the timing of the Shalit deal was “very difficult. On the one hand Gilad 'served' five years in captivity, but today we commemorate Ron's captivity which is five times longer. Coming at this time, the Shalit deal is extremely hard for us to handle now.”
Arad was lost in a mission over Lebanon in 1986, captured by Shiite group Amal and later handed over to the Hizbullah terror group. An Israel investigative panel concluded in 2009 that Arad had died, probably in the mid-1990s, although the report was not accepted by the government.