Son of former Syrian president claims he knows where legendary spy Eli Cohen is buried

Son of former Syrian president claims he knows where legendary spy Eli Cohen is buried

The Mossad has reached out to the son of ex-Syrian president Amin Al-Hafiz to help find the body of legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen, New Zealand’s Newshub reported.

According to Newshub, the New Zealand intelligence services got the tip after interrogating a Syrian refugee who lives near Auckland. The refugee, Khalid al-Hafidh, told the authorities that he was the son then Syrian President Amin al-Hafiz, who was in charge of executing Cohen and arranging his secret burial.

Israel has long sought the return of Cohen’s remains, but the Syrian regime has never agreed to do so, even when there were peace talks between Jerusalem and Damascus.

When he was uncovered, Cohen was executed and secretly buried somewhere in Syria. Fifty-three years later, the hunt for the body of the Israeli hero continues.

“I am the son of the only person on this planet who knows where the remains are buried,” Khalid, the son of Amin al-Hafiz told Newshub.

“I was cooperating with the New Zealand Secret Intelligence Service in a mission with the Mossad of Israel to help find – to try to find – the remains of the Israeli spy Eli Cohen,” Khalid told Newshub.

Reports Legendary spy Eli Cohen's remains on the way back to Israel (4)

“I did not want to do it for the money. I did not want to do it for Mossad. I wanted to do it for the wife and children of Eli Cohen.”

Khalid says the Mossad wanted him to try and talk to his father’s close friends or provide insight.

Khalid wanted a million dollars for his servicesHowever, the deal went cold. Mossad went silent.

In brave operation, the Mossad brings home wristwatch of legendary spy Eli Cohen (4)

Israel has gone to extreme lengths to retrieve Cohen’s remains. His watch was recovered in a brave operation in 2018.

PM Netanyahu has also requested Russia to pressure Syria into revealing the location.

Reports Legendary spy Eli Cohen's remains on the way back to Israel

Eliyahu Ben-Shaul Cohen, commonly known as Eli Cohen, was best known for his espionage work in 1961–1965 in Syria, where he developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy and became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense.

Syrian counter-intelligence authorities eventually uncovered the spy conspiracy, captured and convicted Cohen under pre-war martial law, sentencing him to death in 1965. The intelligence he gathered before his arrest is said to have been an important factor in Israel’s success in the Six-Day War.