Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed Tuesday evening in an interview with i24NEWS that searches are underway to locate the remains of famed Israeli spy Eli Cohen in Syria.
"It's true," Netanyahu said of the search. "That's all I can tell you. I am committed to returning every one of our fallen soldiers and MIAs."
Netanyahu cited the success Israel had in working with Russia to return the remains of IDF soldier Zechariah Baumel and stated that he has a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin which has been essential in managing Israel's interests in Syria in recent years.
An object that is believed to have belonged to Eli Cohen was handed over from the Syrians to the Russians searching in the area of the al-Yarmouk refugee camp. The object was taken for inspection in Israel.
The London-based Arabic Rai al-Youm newspaper reported last month that Russia was making great efforts to locate the remains Eli Cohen and transfer them to Israel. The report said that Russian soldiers had also arrived at the cemetery in the al-Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus.
Meanwhile, Russia is also searching for the remains of two IDF soldiers who fell in the Sultan Yaaqoub battle in Lebanon: Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz.
Eli Cohen began his secret work in Syria in 1961, becoming close to the Syrian leadership. In January 1965, he was exposed and arrested by Syrian intelligence. He was then tried and hanged. Intelligence provided by Cohen has been credited with helping to facilitate Israel's quick victory in the 1967 Six-Day-War.