The Israeli Air Force has released several previously unseen photos of Israeli Air Force navigator Lt. Col Ron Arad, who has been classified as “missing in action” since October 1986, when his plane went down over Lebanon and he ejected and was captured by local Shi’ite terrorist group Amal.
The captured navigator was handed over to Hezbollah and later may have been handed over to Iran.
He has not been seen or heard from since 1988, and is widely presumed to be dead.
The photos, posted on the IAF’s Facebook page, show Arad before his capture. In one photo, Arad is seen in his flight suit, looking to the side. Another photo shows him with a group of soldiers and a third shows him in casual dress, presumably on leave, posing with a group of friends.
Israel has made considerable efforts to try to find Arad or learn his fate.
Evidence led officials to conclude that he probably died in captivity between 1995 and 1997.
However, in October 2016, a joint investigation by the Mossad intelligence agency and military intelligence, based on new information received in the previous two years, concluded that Arad had most likely died in 1988, two years after he was captured.
In the absence of concrete evidence, the state has refrained from officially declaring Arad a fallen soldier whose burial place is unknown.