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Itzik Urges Assad to Transfer Eli Cohen's Remains to Israel

Olmert: 'Israel is morally obligated to do all within its power to bring Cohen to an honorable, dignified burial in Israel'

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik on Monday urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to transfer the remains of Mossad spy Eli Cohen back to Israel.

Speaking at a Knesset session marking 42 years since Cohen's execution, Itzik said that "whoever seeks to gain the trust of states and nations must prove that there is a humane element within him."

Itzik then addressed Assad directly. "Your father missed the opportunity," she said. "It would be appropriate of you to take advantage of it and allow the bones of Eli Cohen to be brought to Israel for burial. I demand that the authorities in Damascus return his bones!"

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the government is "morally obligated to do all within its power to bring Cohen to an honorable and dignified burial in Israel. The truth must be stated, this is not a simple task. Many have undertaken it and failed."

Olmert then promised Cohen's relatives that "this lofty objective is constantly on our minds."