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Copyright 2002 Ha'aretz

June 24, 2002

HEADLINE: Batya Arad, mother of missing airman Ron Arad, dies at 68

BYLINE: Amos Harel and Yam Yehoshua

Batya Arad, the mother of captured Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad, and in recent years a tireless campaigner in efforts to work for the rescue of the long-missing aviator, died Sunday night at the age of 68.

Captain Ron Arad was taken captive on October 16, 1986, after his Phantom fighter went down of Lebanon due to a technical fault. Both Arad and the pilot parachuted safely to the ground. The pilot was rescued by a special IDF rescue unit, while Ron was taken captive by Amal, a Lebanese Shi’ite militia group lead by Nabih Berri.

A teacher and former school principal, Batya Arad led efforts by the Arad family to rescue Ron. In the past few years the family has criticized the political echelon in its handling of the affair, especially the lack of action by the government of then-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir in the first two years after Ron Arad's capture.

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