Purported Video From Israeli Spy Eli Cohen's Execution Surfaces

Video of what appears to be his body after his execution in a Damascus Square in 1965 is uploaded on Facebook. His widow says she never saw it before.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Eli Cohen at his trial in Damascus in 1965.
Eli Cohen (left) at his trial in Damascus in 1965.Credit: AFP
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

[WARNING: This video contains graphic content]

A video that recorded what appears to be the execution of Israeli spy Eli Cohen in Damascus was uploaded on a Syrian Facebook page last week.

The short video purportedly shows Cohen just moments after his execution in May 1965.

The black-and-white one minute, 40 second video shows masses of Syrians crowded around the square in which Cohen was hung, looking at his body, which was later placed in a coffin, placed in a truck and driven away. His body was covered with a placard detailing the crimes he was charged with. The Facebook page containing the video is called "Syrian art treasures."

Cohen's widow, Nadja, said on Tuesday that she had never seen the video before.

Cohen was born in Egypt in 1924 and moved to Israel in 1957. In 1960, the Mossad recruited him and sent him to Syria with a false identity as a businessman from Argentina. His mission was to infiltrate the centers of power in Damascus.

"Eli provided to his handlers during his years of service over 100 telegrams, which included vital intelligence for Israel's security. The intelligence included sensitive political and military information, reports on centers of power, appointments and internal party relations, plans, business deals, cooperation with the Soviet regime, military deployments, fortifications and orders of forces in general and on the Golan Heights in particular," the Israeli memorial site Yizkor wrote about Cohen.

Cohen was arrested in 1965 during a raid on his home, interrogated by torture and tried. He was hung in the central square of Damascus on May 18. He left behind his wife Nadja and their three children in Israel, and was buried in Damascus. The Cohen family has yet to receive his body despite its efforts.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: