In the annual memorial ceremony for Eli Cohen, which was held several weeks ago, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen returned to the Cohen family the wristwatch that Eli Cohen used in Syria.
The watch is currently on display at the Mossad headquarters as a memorial to the legendary fighter; this Rosh Hashanah it will be transferred to the custody of the family.
After Eli Cohen’s execution on 18 May 1965, the wristwatch was held by an enemy state. Upon the watch’s return to Israel, special research and intelligence operations were carried out which culminated in the unequivocal determination that this was indeed Eli Cohen’s watch.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“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.”
Mossad Director Cohen:
“We remember Eli Cohen and do not forget. His heritage, of dedication, determination, courage and love of the homeland, is our heritage. We remember and have maintained a close connection over the years with his family, Nadia and the children.
This year, at the conclusion of an operational effort, we succeeded in locating and bringing to Israel the wristwatch that Eli Cohen wore in Syria until the day he was captured. The watch was part of Eli Cohen’s operational image and part of his fabricated Arab identity.”
Photo credit – Amos Ben-Gershom
Photo of Eli Cohen in Syria wearing the watch