July 5 (UPI) -- Israeli agents taking part in a special operation recovered a wristwatch that belonged to an Israeli spy known for his 1960s espionage work in Syria, officials said Thursday.
Israeli intelligence agency Mossad recently retrieved the watch belonging to spy Eli Cohen, Ynetnews.com reported. Syrians caught and hanged Cohen in Damascus in 1965.
"After Eli Cohen's execution on May 18, 1965, the wristwatch was held by an enemy state," the Israeli government said in a news release. "Upon the watch's return to Israel, special research and intelligence operations were carried out which culminated in the unequivocal determination that this was indeed Eli Cohen's watch."
Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen presented the watch to Cohen's family at a recent ceremony, held annually to honor the famed spy. He developed undercover relationships with top entities in the Syrian government and used those ties to relay secrets to Israel from 1961 to 1965. His intelligence is credited with helping Israel prepare for 1967's Six-Day War.
The watch is currently on display at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv and will be given to Cohen's family after the Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashana, in September.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement he was thankful to Mossad for its efforts "to bring back to Israel a memory of a great fighter who contributed greatly to the State of Israel."