Using his vast network of contacts, Eli Cohen worked undercover in Syria as a Mossad agent from 1962 until he was arrested in 1965, during which time he passed invaluable intelligence to the Israelis. His information contributed directly to Israel’s victory – and its capture of the Golan Heights – in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Syrians hanged Cohen in the centre of Damascus on Tuesday, May 18th, 1965, 10 days after they convicted him of spying. His body was left hanging for six hours.

Now his family have asked the Syrians to return the body as “a humane gesture.” A family member says: “Our contacts tell us that the Syrian president will release the body in due course. It has been 40 years, and we don’t want to wait another 40 years.”