Hizballah suggests Israel close file on missing airman

Sunday, July 13, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia and parliamentary faction on Saturday handed Israel an 80-page report on missing Israeli airman Ron Arad suggesting that the latter has long been dead and that Israel should stop seeking his return.

According to the document, which was compiled by Hizballah as part of a larger prisoner exchange that is expected to take place on Wednesday, Arad tried to escape in 1988, two years after being shot down over Lebanon and captured by Hizballah. The group suggested that Arab was killed in that escape attempt.

However, the report ultimately provided no conclusive information regarding Arad's fate or his whereabouts, prompting dissatisfaction from Israeli officials.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said Israel will follow through with its decision to free four Hizballah men captured in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and a brutal Lebanese terrorist jailed in 1979 after he murdered five Israelis in exchange for two Israeli reserve soldiers believed by most to already be dead.

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