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Copyright 2004 Jerusalem Post
February 2

HEADLINE: Israel says bones received are not Arad's By MATTHEW GUTMAN


Israel received last month a sample of what was thought to be a bone fragment from missing IAF navigator Ron Arad. A government source said Monday morning that DNA samples showed it is clear that the bones do not belong to Ron Arad.

The bone was delivered through the office of the German mediator, Ernst Uhrlau, from the Hizbullah. "This is not the first time in our dealings with Hizbullah that we have received bone parts from there [Lebanon]," the government source said.

The source denied reports that Israel had received another bone fragment some ten days ago.

Israel's efforts in the second phase of the prisoner swap with the Hizbullah focus on gleaning information on the missing IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad, who bailed out over Lebanon after his plane malfunctioned in 1986 and was captured alive.

Israel has had little or no concrete information about the airman since his original captor, Mustafa Dirani, either sold or "lost" Arad to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 1989.

Dirani was released from Israeli prison last week as part of the prisoners swap deal.

That Israel is accepting bone fragments could mean that after 17 years of uncertainty, Arad is no longer alive, as many in the security establishment have come to believe.

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