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Mossad reveals the last message from master spy Eli Cohen

Cohen infiltrated the top levels of Syria’s political leadership during 1961-1965

Eli Cohen at his Damascus residence (Photo: Public domain)

The Mossad revealed the last telegram from Israeli spy Eli Cohen at the dedication of a museum in his honor on Monday. 

Mossad director David Barnea, speaking at the inauguration of the Eli Cohen Museum in Herzliya, publicly revealed Cohen’s last transmission to the Israeli spy agency. The communication was dated Feb. 19, 1965, the day believed to be when Cohen was captured.

In the message, Cohen reported on a meeting held by the Syrian general staff the night before Cohen’s arrest, in which then-Syrian President Amin al-Hafiz participated. 

“Eli Cohen was among our best agents,” Barnea said. “He continues to influence us and instill in us a fighting spirit, courage, values and devotion.” 

Cohen infiltrated the top levels of Syria’s political leadership during 1961-1965, developing close relationships with both political and military leaders. After his discovery and arrest, Cohen was tried by a military tribunal and was eventually executed on May 18, 1965. His body was never returned to Israel.  

Acknowledging the decades-long debate over the reason for Cohen’s capture, Barnea said, “Eli Cohen was captured because his transmissions were simply intercepted and triangulated by the enemy. This is now an intelligence fact.” Barnea emphasized that no one person was to blame for Cohen’s capture. 

Cohen’s last telegram will be transferred to the state archive with a copy displayed at the new museum. 

During the inauguration event, Barnea pledged to continue working to bring Cohen’s remains to Israel for burial. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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