Legendary spy – Eli Cohen
Photo: GPO

Former Assad aide: Eli Cohen's burial site unknown

Syrian leader's ex-bureau chief tells al-Arabiya that executed Israeli spy was buried three times

Nobody in Syria knows where Israeli spy Eli Cohen is buried today, the former bureau chief of late Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad told the al-Arabiya network.


Monjer Motsley, who met Cohen before he was executed, said Friday that Syria buried Cohen three times, in three different locations.


"The grave was changed after a day or two," he said. "We were scared that Israel will send forces that would take away the body."


"It is difficult to find Cohen's bones," the former Syrian official said. "Assad promised to return Cohen's bones, but when he asked about it security officials told him: 'Sir, we don't know where the grave is,' so he couldn't promise."


Eli Cohen operated in Syria on behalf of the Mossad before being captured and executed. He was recruited by Israel's intelligence services in 1960 and was later sent to Argentina in order to establish his fake identity as a former Syrian businessman. Cohen entered Syria in 1961 and over the years became a close associate of many senior Syrian officials.


Cohen's contacts enabled him to relay invaluable intelligence information to Israel. At one point he was a candidate for the position of Syrian deputy defense minister. However, he was detained by Syrian intelligence in January 1965. Despite Israeli efforts, he was put on trial and executed four months after his arrests at a Damascus square.


Cohen's widow, Nadia, led a campaign aimed at bringing the spy's remains to Israel, but Syrian authorities refused the request.


פרסום ראשון: 08.30.08, 22:28
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