Israel recovers hanged spy Eli Cohen’s watch from Syria

Israel recovers hanged spy Eli Cohen’s watch from Syria
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The watch was reportedly worn by Cohen until the day he was captured

Tel Aviv: A watch belonging to one of Israel’s most famed spies who was caught and hanged in Syria has been recovered by its intelligence agency Mossad, a media report said on Friday.

It was worn by Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew recruited by Mossad in the early 1960s, who infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian regime.

He provided Israel with Syrian state secrets before he was found out and publicly hanged in Damascus in 1965.

Syria has refused to reveal the whereabouts of his remains.

Details of when or how Israel got hold of the watch were not disclosed other than it was returned “in a special Mossad operation”.

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said the watch was worn by Eli Cohen “until the day he was captured”.

“The watch was part of Eli Cohen’s operational image and part of his fabricated Arab identity.”

Commenting on the recovery of the watch, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I commend the fighters of the Mossad for the determined and courageous operation, the sole objective of which was to return to Israel a memento from a great fighter who greatly contributed to the security of the state.”

—IANS