Decades later, Mossad reveals details of capture of legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen

“Eli Cohen was captured because his transmissions were simply intercepted and triangulated by the enemy. This is now an intelligence fact,” said the director of Israel’s ffamed intelligence agency. 

By World Israel News Staff

The Mossad on Monday publicly revealed – for the first time – how legendary Israeli spy was captured by Syria in 1965.

The spy agency’s director, David Barnea, revealed the contents of Cohen’s last telegram. According to Barnea, Cohen was captured “simply because his transmissions were intercepted and triangulated by the enemy,” contradicting a widespread theory that the Israeli spy was caught because he transmitted messages too often.

In the telegram, dated February 19, 1965, the day on which he is estimated to have been captured, Cohen reports on a Syrian General Staff meeting held the previous evening with the participation of then-Syrian President Amin Al-Hafez.

Copy of the last Telegram sent by famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen, dated Feb. 19, 1965. (GPO)

Eli Cohen was among our best agents. He continues to influence us and instill in us a fighting spirit, courage, values and devotion – even from the depths of history,” Barnea said.

“He is a source of inspiration not only to today’s agents but to all Mossad employees in their various positions. We all learn from him, even today, from his Zionism, his sacrifice and his dedication.

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“The reason for Eli Cohen’s capture has always been controversial,” the Mossad director continued. “Did he transmit too much? Did he act contrary to the directives? Did headquarters demand that he transmit too intensively? The issue has been subject to dispute for many years.

“I will honor this holy place and reveal, for the first time, following in-depth research that was carried out recently, that Eli Cohen was not captured due to the quantity of his transmissions or pressure from headquarters to transmit too frequently. Eli Cohen was captured because his transmissions were simply intercepted and triangulated by the enemy. This is now an intelligence fact.

“Today, the Mossad will give to the Museum the last telegram that Eli Cohen sent as a free man. The telegram is dated to 19 February 1965, the day of his capture, on which he reported about a discussion at the Syrian General Staff with the participation of then-President Amin Al-Hafez.

“The Mossad has worked, and will continue to work, to reveal intelligence and new details about the period in which Eli Cohen served in Syria, and will continue to work to bring his remains for burial in Israel,” he stated.

“Eli is a symbol for many agents, each one of whom operated in their own generation, over many decades, and who risked their lives while working with professionalism and dedication, and contributing to the security of the State and People of Israel.

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“Even across the years, we salute a brave agent who was at the forefront of the secret campaign of the Mossad and the State of Israel. We honor his memory and learn from his legacy.”

The original telegram will be deposited in the National Archive, and a copy will be given to the Museum.