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Mossad Tested Corpse’s DNA, Kidnapped Iranian General in Search for Arad
Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad is seen in an undated photo while being held captive reportedly provided to Israel as part of a prisoner exchange deal with the Lebanese Islamic group Hizbullah in July 2008. (Photo courtesy Channel 10 via Getty Images)

Mossad Tested Corpse’s DNA, Kidnapped Iranian General in Search for Arad

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency tested DNA that it removed from a corpse discovered in a village in northern Lebanon that was believed to be the body of missing Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad; it also abducted an Iranian general from Syria and took him to a northern African country to interrogate him about Arad’s fate, the Saudi Arabian news website Al Arabiya reported. The London-based Arabic newspaper Rai al-Youm first reported on the kidnapping, noting that the general was later released. The reports came on Tuesday, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed on Monday that the operation had taken place, during a speech on the floor of the Knesset plenum, but was unable to provide any additional information about the secret operation or its findings.

He called it a “complex, wide-ranging and bold operation” that a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office later said was a “successful operation carried out while meeting exceptional operational objectives.”

The mission has been portrayed both as a success and as a failure. Bennett may have announced it in part to  praise the Mossad publicly for the operartion and to reassure soldiers.

Arad ejected from a fighter jet over Lebanon in 1986 and was taken captive by Lebanese Shiite group Amal; he was later transferred to Iranian forces. He is believed to have died in 1988, based on a 2016 report by the Israel Defense Forces and the Mossad. He remains classified as missing in action, however.

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