Mossad’s intelligence agency has launched a “brave” operation to try to find out what happened to the missing aviator Ron Arad, Israel’s prime minister announced, quoted by BBC.
Naftali Bennett told parliament he could not give more details about the mission to solve the 35-year-old mystery.
The Mossad chief was quoted by Israeli television channel Canal 12 as saying that the operation had failed.
what happened to ron arado
Lieutenant-Colonel Ron Arad was reported missing in 1986 after his plane was shot down during bombings in Lebanon. He is presumed dead.
The pilot of the plane was rescued by Israeli forces after being catapulted. Arad, the navigator of the plane, was captured by Amal, the Lebanese Muslim militia. A year later, Amal offered Ron Arad a trade of 200 Lebanese prisoners, 450 Palestinian prisoners as well as $3 million. Talks have stalled after Israel refused to release Palestinian prisoners.
A 2016 report by Mossad and Israeli intelligence services concluded that Lieutenant-Colonel Arad most likely died in captivity in 1988.
In a speech at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), Prime Minister Bennett said that Mossad had carried out a “complicated and daring operation” last month to gather information about the fate of aviator Ron Arad. .
“That’s all I can tell you for now,” said Bennett.
Later, Mossad chief David Barnia was quoted by Channel 12 as saying in a hearing: “It was a daring, bold and complicated operation, but it was a failure. I failed.”
The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the report by issuing a press release stressing that the mission was not a failure, but “a success, with the mission being carried out in accordance with operational goals”. At the same time, the communiqué defended the prime minister’s decision to disclose information about the mission to the public, indicating that it expressed “the effort invested in trying to get our boys home”.
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