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Ron Arad is an Israeli fighter plain navigator who bailed out of his aircraft during a mission in Lebanon in 1986 and was captured by members of the Amal terrorist organisation.

It is known that Ron was passed from hand to hand among the various Islamic groups operating in the Middle East and it is widely assumed that he is currently held in Iran, although the Iranian governemnt has always strenuously denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. There is no absolute knowledge of whether he is still alive or not - even if he were dead it is in the interest of the aforementioned organisations to retain the hope of his return as a bargaining chip against the Israeli government.

Arad's wife and mother have been very vocal in their efforts to get him released, and so, even though he is not the only Israeli missing in action, his name has become something of a symbol for the general problem of retrieving Israeli POWs out of the hands of those who capture them, who more often than not refuse to negotiate their release. He has also been missing the longest, and in the most mysterious circumstances.

Even though I have never supported the Israeli action in Lebanon, I share the sense of outrage at the treatment the Lieutenant Colonel and his family have recieved at the hands of his captors. Every international POW convention has been violated in the last 15 years of him being missing. As a young webmaster in Jerusalem I helped design and build the Ron Arad Fellowship's website, by far the most emotional experience I ever had while working in the field.

The site is still up and can be visited at http://www.ron-arad.org.il/.

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