'Israel searching for remains of Eli Cohen in Syria'

Israel reportedly engaged in secret negotiations with Syrian rebels in order to secure remains of executed Israeli spy.

Stamp issued in honor of Eli Cohen 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Stamp issued in honor of Eli Cohen 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al Arabi on Monday published a story on its website claiming that Israel is having secret contacts with the Syrian rebels in order to search for the remains of executed Israeli spy Eli Cohen as well as to secure the Golan Heights.
Eli Cohen is known as one of Israel's greatest spies, who infiltrated the highest levels of the Syrian government in the 1960s and was publicly hanged in Damascus in 1965.
Cohen was sent to Syria disguised as Kamel Amin Thaabet, a Syrian who decided to return to his homeland after spending many years in Argentina.
Upon his arrival to Damascus in 1962, Cohen - disguised as Thaabet - quickly rose to prominence as a tour operator and businessman, gaining the friendship and trust of many officials in the Syrian elite. Throughout the next four years, he would regularly correspond with his handlers in Israel, passing information that contributed to the IDF's victory in the Six-Day War.
In 1965, Cohen was caught in the act of transmitting information to Israel. He was tried and found guilty of espionage, and hanged publicly in May of that year.
According to Al Quds Al Arabi, Israel, with the cooperation of Jordan, also is laying the groundwork for a possible Israeli-American operation in Syria.
The paper writes, "The Jordanian tribal front warned that there exists secret contacts between Israel and dissident commanders from the Syrian army, with support from some Jordanian circles." The story went on to mention that the Arab tribes "facilitated the exit of dissident Syrian commanders to the occupied territories."
The Jordanians were aware of meetings that took place between the dissident commanders and the Israeli officials in Jordan that were meant "to prepare for an American-Zionist plan in Syria in order to protect the borders of the occupied Golan."