Defense Minister Benny Gantz criticizes Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for revealing information about a Mossad operation that aimed to discover the whereabouts of missing airman Ron Arad.
“Had it been up to me, I wouldn’t have revealed this operation,” says Gantz at a conference organized by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily and Ynet news site.
“I knew the details of the mission, I approved the details of the operation, I sat in on the preliminary discussions, I certainly oversaw its execution. I was in the loop entirely,” he says.
Gantz says the mission was “very successful,” rejecting media reports that it had yielded no leads.
“Right now we’re processing the information that emerged from this operation,” he says.
Bennett revealed details of the operation during a speech to the Knesset.
Arad bailed out of his plane during an operation in southern Lebanon in 1986. Israel believes he was captured by the Shiite Amal movement before being handed over to Iran, and moved from Lebanon to Iran and then back again.
Several signs of life were received in the first two years of his incarceration, including photos and letters, the last of which was sent on May 5, 1988.
Arad has long been assumed to have died many years ago, although intelligence reports have differed as to the circumstances, timing and location of his death.