Forty-Five Years to the Execution of Eli Cohen, Israeli Spy in Syria


Eli Cohen (born 26 December 1924 in Egypt, died 18 May 1965) was an Israeli spy. He was a newcomer to Israel, a Jewish immigrant from Egypt. His will to take part in Israeli society drove him far away to an incredibly successful espionage mission in Syria, until he was captured and executed.

He became a legendary spy, a model for wits, courage and dedication.


Eli Cohen

Eli Cohen      


He is best known for his work in Syria, where he developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy and became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense and third in line to the presidency. He was eventually exposed and executed in Syria in 1965. The intelligence he gathered is claimed to have been an important factor in Israel’s Six Day War.

Memorial Stone for Eli Cohen
Memorial Stone for Eli Cohen


Requests by his family for his remains to be returned to Israel have been denied by the Syrian government (as of May 2006). In February 2007 a Turkish official confirmed that his government was ready to act as a mediator for the return of Eli’s remains to his family from Syria.[8] In August 2008 the former bureau chief of late Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad, Monthir Maosily, said that Eli Cohen’s burial site is unknown, claiming that the Syrians buried the executed Israeli spy three times, to stop the remains from being brought back to Israel via a special operation.

Eli’s brothers, Abraham and Maurice Cohen led the campaign to return his remains. Maurice died in 2006. Eli’s widow, Nadia, has since led the campaign.
The film The Impossible Spy is a depiction of his life. He is featured at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.


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7 Responses to Forty-Five Years to the Execution of Eli Cohen, Israeli Spy in Syria

  1. GARY LIDAWER says:


  2. GARY LIDAWER says:


  3. Hertzel says:

    May he rest in peace !
    one of the many outstanding contribution and self sacrafices of sepharadi jews for their country !!!

  4. Dr.Berhanu Assefa says:

    I Knew Eli some 35 yeaars back on the book ”
    our man in Damascus”
    I personally Admire the work what had been done done by Eli Cohen in Syria most probably comparable to those work done by other patriots
    of in 1948 during the establishment of Israel government

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