Israel is negotiating with Syrian rebels to obtain the remains of Eli Cohen HY"D (May God Avenge his blood), an Israeli spy who was executed in the 1960's. Information provided by Cohen enabled Israel to liberate the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War.
The Pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al Arabi on Monday published a story on its website claiming that Israel is having secret contacts with the Syrian rebels in order to search for the remains of executed Israeli spy Eli Cohen as well as to secure the Golan Heights.In the past, the release of Cohen's remains was discussed as a goodwill gesture for future negotiations between Israel and Syria, although the Assad regime has claimed that a shopping mall was built atop Cohen's remains. Israel has also offered money to secure Cohen's remains' return.
Eli Cohen is known as one of Israel's greatest spies, who infiltrated the highest levels of the Syrian government in the 1960s and was publicly hanged in Damascus in 1965.
Cohen was sent to Syria disguised as Kamel Amin Thaabet, a Syrian who decided to return to his homeland after spending many years in Argentina.
Upon his arrival to Damascus in 1962, Cohen - disguised as Thaabet - quickly rose to prominence as a tour operator and businessman, gaining the friendship and trust of many officials in the Syrian elite. Throughout the next four years, he would regularly correspond with his handlers in Israel, passing information that contributed to the IDF's victory in the Six-Day War.
In 1965, Cohen was caught in the act of transmitting information to Israel. He was tried and found guilty of espionage, and hanged publicly in May of that year.
According to Al Quds Al Arabi, Israel, with the cooperation of Jordan, also is laying the groundwork for a possible Israeli-American operation in Syria.