The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Wednesday morning published photos of Israeli navigator Ron Arad on the 32nd anniversary of his capture.
In the pictures Arad is seen as a navigator in the Israel Air Force alongside his fellow soldiers. Arad was supposed to celebrate his 60th birthday this past May.
On October 16, 1986, Arad flew a Phantom jet during a mission to attack terrorist targets near Sidon, Lebanon. A bomb dropped by the jet apparently exploded prematurely, causing damage to the aircraft and forcing both crewmen to eject. Pilot Yishai Aviram was rescued by a Cobra helicopter, while navigator Arad was captured by the Shiite organization Amal.
His captors subsequently forwarded three letters he wrote and one picture of him, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was not permitted to visit him, and he has not been heard from as of September 1987.
Attempts to release him through a deal failed, and he was believed to have been transferred in 1988 from senior Amal official Mustafa Dirani to Iran or another Shiite organization.