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Friday, May 14, 2004

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News
Two Arabic-language papers report that a grave containing the remains of Ron Arad has been found. Israel denies. The families of 12 missing Iranian Jews demand that their loved ones not be forgotten.

Two Arabic-language newspapers have now reported that a grave containing the remains of Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad has been found. Arad was captured when his plane was felled over Lebanon in 1986, and has not been heard from since. On Wednesday, A-Sharq al-Aussat of London reported that the grave had been found in Lebanon, and that a DNA check had proven that Arad was buried there. Hizbullah, according to the report, was said to be awaiting Israel's final confirmation of the findings. Yesterday, a Lebanese newspaper provided a more detailed report. Al-Mustaqbal reported that Hizbullah had transferred to Israel the remains suspected to be those of Ron Arad. The transfer took place via Ernst Erlau, the German mediator involved in Israeli-Lebanese prisoner exchange matters. Israel has denied that any new information has come to light regarding Ron Arad. The second stage of a recent prisoner exchange is set to take place once Hizbullah provides "new, reliable and concrete information" on the fate of the missing navigator. In this second stage, Hizbullah seeks the release of Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese citizen who perpetrated the terrorist attack in Nahariya in 1979 in which Danny Haran, his two children, and a policeman were killed. Hizbullah claims that it has been seeking Arad's grave for the past few months. This can be explained in that Hizbullah leader Nasrallah has put his prestige on the line in guaranteeing the release of Kuntar - and is thus interested in providing "new and concrete" information on Ron Arad. The first stage of the deal was implemented in January, when Hizbullah released Elchanan Tenenbaum and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, in exchange for more than 400 Arab prisoners held in Israel. The families of 12 missing Iranian Jews have petitioned the Supreme Court to force the inclusion of their cause in the current stage of the prisoner exchange. The families say that information on their loved ones must be provided to Israel before Samir Kuntar is released. The 12 attempted to make their way to Israel from Iran in 1994 and 1997, via Pakistan, but never made it to Pakistan and have not been heard from since. Though the families have asked the Israeli Government many times to take action on their loved ones' behalf, they were told that the efforts needed to be carried out quietly and behind-the-scenes. The families feel that this was just a cover-up for doing nothing at all.
The mystery continues. SEZ NITZANA