Bennett Rejects Report That Arad Search Failed

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Prime Minister’s Office has pushed back against a report that the Mossad search for information about missing airman Ron Arad was a failure, insisting that it was a success.

“Bringing information to Knesset members and the general public has value which expresses our great effort and commitment to the return of our sons home, even many years after they were captured by the enemy,” the PMO stated. “Any other dissemination of information is a lie.”

It did not elaborate on what was discovered.

The PMO’s statement was issued several hours after security sources were said to claim that the operation to learn more about Arad, who crashed over Lebanon in October 1986 and was declared missing ever since, had failed.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennet revealed in a speech to the Knesset plenum that the Mossad conducted a special operation in the Middle East region in an effort to find the remains and more information about Arad’s fate.

Bennett said he authorized the operation out of the spirit of the Jewish concept of redeeming captives and that he had informed Arad’s family.

“Last month, Mossad agents embarked on a complex and wide-ranging operation to find the remains and whereabouts of Ron Arad,” said the Prime Minister. “That is all that can be said at the current time,” added Bennett.

Ron Arad was taken captive in Lebanon in 1986 after a bombing mission over southern Lebanon.

Arad was listed as missing in action by the IDF for 31 years until two intelligence reports by IDF intelligence and the Mossad claimed he most likely died in captivity.