Unconfirmed reports published on Syrian opposition news outlets Sunday evening said a Russian delegation left Syrian territory with an Israeli coffin containing the body of Mossad intelligence agent Eli Cohen.
An Egyptian-born Jew, Eliyahu Ben-Shaul Cohen, husband to Nadia and father of Sophie, Irit and Shai, worked undercover in both Egypt and Syria, but was best known for his undercover work in the latter country, carried out between 1961 and 1965 until he was arrested and convicted of espionage.
He had reached the position of top adviser to Syria’s defense minister when his cover was somehow blown. He was executed by the Damascus government, publicly, on May 18, 1965.
Security personnel have worked ever since to try and recover his body, with no success.
The current reports appear to be based on rumors that have been circulating since Sunday morning in social media posts.
Israeli officials said, however, they are not aware of this development and that the state does not comment on unverified rumors that circulate on social media.
Last year, Cohen’s watch was returned to his widow with great emotion after a complex and secret operation by the Mossad.