Cohen's watch
Cohen's watchAmos Ben Gershom, GPO

Israel’s Mossad national intelligence and special operations agency has recovered an important personal item belonging to the legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen.

Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew, worked as an undercover Israeli agent in Egypt and Syria before he was discovered and hanged in 1965.

By the time of his discovery, Cohen had managed to climb the ranks of the Syrian Defense Ministry, becoming the top advisor to Syria’s Defense Minister.

In special operation recently, Israel’s Mossad managed to recover Cohen’s wristwatch, and return it to Israel, it was revealed on Thursday.

At a recent memorial event for Cohen, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen showed the watch to relatives of the fallen spy, which Eli Cohen used during his undercover work in Syria.

After his execution in Syria on May 18th, 1965, the Syrian government remained in possession of all of Cohen’s personal effects, including the watch. Following its recovery in a special operation, investigators verified that the watch did indeed belong to the Israeli spy.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the Mossad following the revelation of the watch’s return.

"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 Yossi Cohen said the fallen spy's memory had become part of Israel's "heritage".

"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."

Cohen's watch
Cohen's watchAmos Ben Gershom