There are at present five Israeli soldiers kidnapped or missing in action:
Staff Sgt. Zecharya Baumel, Staff Sgt. Zvi Feldman and Staff Sgt. Yehuda Katz, missing since 11 June 1982, in a battle at Sultan Yakoub, in Lebanon.
Major Ron Arad, who was captured on 16 October 1986, after his aircraft was shot down near Sidon, Lebanon. Arad was initially held by Amal (a Shi'ite terrorist organization); however his subsequent fate is still unknown.
Guy Hever, last seen at his army base on the southern Golan Heights on August 17, 1997.
The Battle of Sultan Yakoub
On June 11, 1982, five Israeli soldiers went missing in a battle with Syrian and Palestinian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub. Several years later, two of the captured soldiers were returned to Israel in prisoner exchanges with Syria and Achmed Jibril's PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command). Three soldiers - Zachary Baumel (born Nov 17, 1960), Yehuda Katz (born Dec 29, 1956), and Zvi Feldman (born July 18, 1959) - are still missing.
Since the battle, there have been many conflicting reports regarding the whereabouts and condition of the missing men. Over the years, Palestinian and Syrian officials have made many references to information in their possession regarding the MIAs, but have been unwilling to cooperate in efforts to return the missing soldiers to their families. So, despite Israel's best efforts, Yehuda Katz and Tzvi Feldman, the children of Holocaust survivors, and Zachary Baumel, remain unaccounted for despite ongoing reports (including the 1988 Amnesty International Report and the 1993 Amnesty International December Update) indicating that some of the missing soldiers are still alive and are being held under Syrian control.
On October 16, 1986, Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad was taken captive after his F-4 Phantom warplane went down over Lebanon. Both Arad and the pilot parachuted safely to the ground. The pilot was flown to safety under fire, holding on to the bottom of an Israeli helicopter in a rescue operation. Ron was taken captive by Amal, a Lebanese Shi'ite militia group lead by Nabih Berri.
In 1987, Arad's family received several letters and a photo of Arad confirming that he was alive and in Amal's hands. Ron Arad was personally held by the then head of security of Amal, Mustafa Dirani. In early 1988, Dirani severed his ties with Amal due to ideological differences and formed a new group, called the "Resistance of the Believers." Arad was held captive by Dirani's group until the beginning of 1989, when he was apparently handed over to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in exchange for a large sum of money. Sources in Israel believe that Captain Ron Arad is still being held by this group.
Ron Arad was born in Israel on May 5, 1958. Ron and his wife Tami have a daughter, Yuval. Before his capture, Ron was a student of chemical engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, entering his second year of studies.
On August 17, 1997, Guy Hever (born May 30, 1977), a soldier in the Israeli army, was last seen on the southern Golan Heights at the Katzabiya junction just one kilometer from the Syrian border. He was dressed in army fatigues and was carrying his weapon, key chain and international military identification papers. The area was searched thoroughly but no trace of him was found.