In 1986, his plane went down over Lebanon due to what is believed to have been a mechanical failure. After parachuting to the ground, Ron Arad was kidnapped by a Lebanese terrorist named Mustafa Dirani. In 1994, Dirani was captured by Israeli commandos at his home, who kidnapped him and took him to Israel, where they interrogated him concerning the whereabouts of the man he kidnapped.
They found that Dirani had sold him to Iran for $300,000 and from then on had no idea where he was.
It’s being reported by Ynet now that after Dirani’s kidnapping, Iran transferred Arad back to Lebanon fearing Dirani would reveal that the Iranians were involved. After Arad was returned to Lebanon, he apparently died of an illness sometime in the mid 90’s. Such is word heard from an Iranian official passed on to Israel recently.
No word of Arad has been heard in years, save a letter that was delivered to his wife in 2004 written in the late 80’s. Repeated attempts to get information on him have failed. The last serious attempt was made in 2004 when Israel traded Dirani and another Lebanese commander in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli former soldier caught by Hezbollah in the middle of a drug deal.
Arad’s family responded to the report by saying that they still consider him to be alive. “Even if the article is accurate and Ron is not alive, we are committed to bringing him home,” Eliad Shraga, the family lawyer, said.