Barak: Moral obligation to soldiers
Photo: Gil Yohanan
New photo of Ron Arad
Photo courtesy of Channel 1

Arad family demands all material on Ron

After receiving new photos, journal of captured navigator, family furious over planned swap deal with Hizbullah. 'Whoever wants to sign agreements should hand over all materials that have been kept from us by Hizbullah,' family member says

A Hizbullah report on Ron Arad that was transferred to Israel on Saturday as part of a prisoner swap deal once more caused a rise in demand to clarify once and for all the fate of the missing navigator, who was captured in Lebanon 22 years ago.


New photos and a journal written by Arad were handed over to his family, intensifying their cry for an uncompromising investigation that will finally reveal the truth.


"Whoever wants to sign an agreement such as this should hand over all the material on Arad and not just some of the material available," a family member told Ynet. "We have no doubts that materials have been kept from us by Hizbullah, which wants to hold all the cards."


The Arad family recently received two new photos of Ron, which were not previously seen in Israel, and a journal written by the captured navigator in which he wrote to his wife and daughter.


During a security briefing Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "the report on Ron Arad as it was transferred from Hizbullah does not provide a clear answer about his fate, and does not resolve the issue."


He also referred to the deal with the organization, expected to be approved by the government soon, and said, "We are committed to continue to act towards discovering his fate – and despite this, as defense minister, chief of staff, and former commander, I have a moral obligation to continue to promote the return home of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser."  

New photo given to Arad family


The report has been handed over to security forces, which plan to present their findings to the government before they approve the swap deal returning the kidnapped soldiers home.


The new photos that were revealed caused Ron Arad's friends to wax nostalgic. "This is the Ron I remember from the time we parted 22 years ago," said Ronen Merav, Arad's friend from pilot training.


"My heart aches when I look at these photos. It's too bad that finally this is all that's left, with all the promises and deals."


He added that they would continue the battle for Arad. "We won't stop here. There have been sayings and reports on the money that Ron has cost Israel – sayings that are simply shameful, and this is precisely what makes it our job to keep the issue alive," he said.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.08, 20:06
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