'I Will Return,' Ron Arad Wrote to His Loved Ones From Captivity

Channel 2 shows diaries written by captured IAF navigator to his wife and daughters, in which he promises to return even if it takes years.

"It will take a year, two years, but I will return. I will never leave you again." These words were written by missing IAF navigator Ron Arad, whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986, to his wife Tami and his daughter Yuval.

Arad's diaries were obtained by Channel 2 and shown on Saturday. He most likely wrote them during his first weeks in captivity.

Ron Arad - AP

The notes were written on pages ripped from books Arad's captors gave him. "To my dearest of all, Tami and Yuval, I am trying to forget you because I get a lump on my throat with every memory," he wrote. "I love you, and you are the only reason keeping me from thinking about the worst of all. I promise you this at least: I will return. A year, two years – I will never leave you again, even if I have to stop flying. We will have a warm and loving and good home like we never had."

Arad writes to his wife Tami: "I had a dream about you last night. It was wonderful. We both met on the grass after a long workday and talked as usual, and I was with you again. I woke up in a sweat, but it gave me a few minutes of happiness."

Arad's letters remained in Lebanon for 20 years. They were returned to Israel three years ago as part of a swap deal with Hezbollah (in which Israel received the bodies Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser).

In some of the letters Arad wrote the address of his parents' house in Hod Hasharon, suggesting he believed his captors would mail them to his loved ones
"קראו כתבה זו בעברית: רון ארד כתב מהשבי: "אני עוד אחזור