The former spy israeli Rafi Eitan, head of the commando unit that kidnapped in Argentina in 1960, Adolf Eichmann, one of the key leaders of the “final solution,” died Saturday at the age of 92 in Israel, has announced the radio public in israel.
Mr. Eitan died Saturday afternoon at the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv, a coastal city in israel, according to the public radio station that has not given more details.
“Rafi was one of the heroes of the intelligence services of the State of Israel, with countless shares in favour of the security of Israel”, said in a statement the israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. “We mourn his death.”
The death of Mr. Eitan has also sparked a rare eulogy of the service of internal security of israel, the Shin Bet.
“Rafi, who was one of the founders of the operational arm of the Shin Bet, has led and participated in a dozen of historical transactions, which will remain secret for many years,” said in a press release Nadav Argaman, at the head of the Shin Bet.
Mr. Eitan was “a fighter-born who held to his mission and what he considered to be fair”, also praised in a statement the israeli president Reuven Rivlin.
Born in November 1926 in a kibbutz in Palestine, then under british mandate, Mr. Eitan joined the israeli secret service Mossad in the 1950s.
He then climbed the ranks to take the head of operations of the Mossad and was involved in the capture in Buenos Aires Eichmann, who was taken to Israel where he was tried and hanged in 1962 for his responsibility in the extermination of six million jews in 1939-45.
In addition to his role in the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann, Rafi Eitan is also known for having been the agent dealing with Jonathan Pollard, an analyst for the u.s. Navy arrested in 1985 and imprisoned in the United States for 30 years for espionage in favour of Israel.
The result of this case which has caused a serious crisis of confidence between the United States and Israel, it is the subject of an arrest warrant states.
In 2006, at the age of 79 years, he was elected to Parliament and takes the head of the Pensioners ‘ Party, before becoming minister for Senior citizens.
He was then said to have undergone a heart operation a year earlier. “I see nothing and I hear nothing but I run every morning, I do the carving and my wife says I’m doing well,” he confided.