Fifty-two years to the day (on 18 May 1965), the Israeli spy Eli Cohen was hanged in Marjeh Square, Damascus, Syria.
He was only 40, and had left an anguished wife, Nadia, and three children back in Israel while he fulfilled his mission, penetrating the highest echelons of the Syrian regime. His body was never returned to his family and his exact place of burial is unknown.
The intelligence that Cohen gathered in Syria between 1962-65 was probably the single most important factor in bringing about Israel's victory during the Six Day War. For instance, he collected intelligence on the Syrian fortifications there.
Feigning sympathy for the soldiers exposed to the sun, Cohen had trees planted at every position. The trees were used as targeting markers by the Israeli military during the war and enabled Israel to capture the Golan Heights in two days with relative ease.
The Association of Jews from Egypt dedicated the first day of their Congress last week to a tour of the Golan Heights in memory of the Egyptian-born spy of Aleppan origin who came to Israel in 1956. Delegates followed the Eli Cohen Route. There are seven monuments dedicated to him on the Golan Heights. The Heights were then in Syria and following the Six Day War were annexed by Israel.
Here and here are two 30-second videos of the Golan Heights tour.
Egyptian Jews resettled refugees from Nazi Germany
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