Photo: Courtesy of Channel 10
Ron Arad smoking (from film)
Photo: Courtesy of Channel 10
Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon
Adi Avitan
Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Yaakov Avitan
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Video: Ron Arad smoking, calling parents' names

In video set to air on Israeli Channel 10, Lebanese network LBC Tuesday evening, captive navigator seen talking for first time since being captured 20 years. Film to also present images from kidnapping of three IDF soldiers by Hizbullah in 2000

On Tuesday evening Channel 10 is expected to broadcast a film in which Israeli captive Ron Arad is seen talking. This will be the first time Arad's voice is heard since he was captured 20 years ago.


In the video segment, Arad is smoking a cigarette and stating his and his parents' names: "Ron Arad, Dov Arad, Batya Arad". Simultaneously, the film will be broadcast Tuesday and Wednesday on Lebanese television network LBC. It is not yet known when the film was recorded.


In the promo broadcast last week, the announcer promised that all images and voices would be "seen on screen for the first time."

Photo taken from film broadcasting Tuesday on Channel 10


Ynet has learned that the videotape was apparently handed to the LBC network by the Shiite party in Lebanon, which was previously affiliated with Hizbullah. The tape did not come from Hizbullah itself, as the group is unlikely to have given the tape to Christian sympathizers. 


The film will also include a segment, the credibility of which is unknown, showing the operation in which three IDF soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in 2000.


'We'll finally see what happened to our child'  

The families of the three kidnapped soldiers – Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Souad – were invited to watch the film before its broadcast.


"After six years of endless reenactments, we are going to watch what happened to our child," Adi Avitan's father Yaakov told Ynet.


Ever since Tzipora and Yaakov Avitan found out about the tape, they have been restless. They searched for the same tape while waiting for their son's body to return.


"A UN officer had said that there was such a tape, and we began making noise across the world."


The United Nations rushed to deny the report, but later admitted that such a tape was taken. Later the families found out that there was another tape which they had not seen.


"I assume this is the tape we will see today," Avitan said.


The tape and the way it will be broadcast – on a commercial channel in Lebanon of all places – aroused harsh responses among the Avitan family members toward the UN.


"Hizbullah has its own channel. It's only natural that if the tape was in their possession it would be aired on al-Manar. It appears that someone has been trading with it and it has been in the possession of the UN, which kept silent and said nothing," Yaakov Avitan charged.


Adi's parents know that the images may be difficult to watch, but they also know that they will be unable to forgive themselves if they fail to watch their son's last minutes.


"No one told us what we are expected to see, but I assume we will see the son slowly approaching the area, the blast, and the long time it took the rescue forces to arrive at the area," he said.


"The difficult part will be the removal of the sons from the vehicles. Where they dragged on the ground? Did any of them walk? It is also important to see the angle of the filming, maybe it's all staged and fabricated."


The Avitan family members, who live in Tiberias, said that they have been very tense during the day.


"From the moment Adi was kidnapped till his body was returned to Israel, every day was difficult. Although the worst already happened, it is clear to me that watching the film will not be easy for us. However, since the kidnapping, for days, we have been reenacting Adi's last moments, what exactly happened, what went through his mind, if he felt something or not. Today we may receive answers for some of these questions," Avitan concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 09.05.06, 13:51
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