Mossad recovers watch of Israeli national hero Eli Cohen from Syria
By: World Israel News Staff
In a special operation, the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, returned the wristwatch of late Mossad fighter Eli Cohen to the Jewish state recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s media adviser announced in a press release Thursday.
During the annual Mossad memorial ceremony for Eli Cohen several weeks ago, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen presented to Cohen’s family the wristwatch that he wore during his mission in Syria, the adviser said.
Eli Cohen was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on December 26, 1924, “His parents, Syrian Jews from the thriving town of Aleppo, had always instilled in their educationally minded son the traditions of the Jewish people, of Zionism, and of the culture of Syria’s Jewish community in particular. In 1949 his parents and three brothers moved to Israel while Eli remained in Egypt to coordinate Jewish and Zionist activities there,” according to Jewish Virtual Library.
Eli Cohen was sentenced to death and hung publicly in 1965 after his true identity was discovered by the Syrians.
Following his execution on May 18, 1965, the wristwatch was held by an enemy state, Netanyahu’s spokesman said in a statement. After it was returned to Israel, special research and intelligence operations were carried out, culminating in the “unequivocal determination that this was indeed Eli Cohen’s watch.”
Mossad: We do not forget Eli Cohen
“I commend the fighters of the Mossad for the determined and courageous operation, the sole objective of which was to return to Israel a memento from a great fighter who greatly contributed to the security of the state,” Netanyahu stated.
“We remember Eli Cohen and do not forget. His heritage, of dedication, determination, courage and love of the homeland is our heritage,” the Mossad director affirmed.
“The watch was part of Eli Cohen’s operational image and part of his fabricated Arab identity,” he said.
On Friday, the Anne Frank House published its report on the immigration attempts of the Frank family, which included Anne, sister Margot and their parents, Otto and Edith. They were sent to concentration camps and only Otto survived.
“Although the United States had a far from generous policy with regard to Jewish refugees, it is clear that Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank were not refused entry to the United States,” the new study states. Due to rapidly changing circumstances connected to World War II, the family’s “immigration visa application to the American consulate in Rotterdam was never processed.”
Anne Frank penned journals of her time in hiding from Nazi occupation for two years until 1944, and the journals became the famed “Diary of a Young Girl.”
The finding on the Frank family follows decades of uncertainty as to how exactly U.S. immigration authorities handled their immigration applications. And it contradicts an oft-repeated claim of critics of past and current U.S. visa policies, including from Washington Post columnist Elahe Izadi, who in 2015 wrote an op-ed titled “Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the U.S.”
More recently, journalists Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan made the same claim on the “Democracy Now!” show syndicated by Pacifica Radio. “The U.S. Rejected Refugee Anne Frank — Let’s Not Make the Same Mistake Again,” read the title of its article from February.
According to the study, one delay to the Franks’ immigration process followed the bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Rotterdam in May 1940. All documents, including Otto Frank’s visa application, were lost and had to be resubmitted.
Otto Frank’s friend in the United States, Nathan Straus, used his financial resources and political connections in an attempt to help the Franks immigrate. But this was complicated by the fact that the United States closed all German consulates, whereupon Nazi Germany closed all American consulates in Germany and Nazi-occupied territory.
After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the suspension of transatlantic shipping traffic, travel to Cuba was impossible, thwarting Otto Frank’s plan to immigrate to the United States through there. He decided then to go into hiding with his family.
“There were also obstacles from the United States,” the study’s authors wrote. “In the absence of an asylum policy, Jews seeking to escape Nazi persecution in Europe had to go through a protracted emigration procedure. There was limited willingness to accept Jewish refugees.”
IDF DEPLOYS IRON DOME BATTERIES IN THE SOUTH
“The IDF is prepared for several scenarios and ready to defend the citizens of the State of Israel and its sovereignty,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
The IDF has been carrying out strikes in the Gaza Strip against vehicles used by terrorist cells who launch incendiary aerial devices into Israel. The Hamas terrorist group in turn has launched mortar shells towards southern Israeli communities.
On June 20, Hamas, along with Islamic Jihad, launched a barrage of 45 mortars shortly after IAF jets struck three targets in the Strip in response to incendiary kites and explosive balloons launched towards southern Israel.
Seven of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and another three fell inside the Strip. Four were found inside communities in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing damage to nearby homes and cars. One landed in the yard of an empty kindergarten.
A week later, at least 13 mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip after the IAF struck a vehicle said to have been heavily involved helping in Palestinians in launching incendiary devices into Israel. Two of the mortar shells were intercepted by the Iron Dome system over the city of Sderot.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the series of experiments were led by Rafael, the main contractor of the Iron Dome system, along with Elta and with the participation of the Israel Air Force and Navy.
During the test the various types of targets which simulate the emerging threats developing in the area were launched.
“Homa [missile defense] will continue to develop the Iron Dome system in order to deal with the emerging threats in the arena in order to best protect the State of Israel,” read the statement.
Israel continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems and last year the Defense Ministry carried out a number of experiments using American- made components in the course of the missile interception tests for the first time.
The experiments, which were conducted in the south of the country, focused on the use of the “Tamir” interceptor and it’s ability to intercept a number of targets which were fired simultaneously at different ranges.
The Rafael-built system carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away and “Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.”, which produces the radar system for the Iron Dome system through its ELTA division, has reported sales of it to various armies around the world.
Israel’s air defenses currently include the “Iron Dome”, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the “Arrow system” which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The “David’s Sling” missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.
In mid-June, the US Senate approved $500 million for Israel’s missile defense programs for the Iron Dome, Arrow-2, Arrow-3 and David’s Sling under the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. Another $50m. was approved for US-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation.