JERUSALEM (JNS) – Famed Mossad agent Yael Man, whose contributions to the intelligence agency made her a national Israeli hero, passed away on Sunday at the age of 85.
Man served as an undercover agent in Lebanon, gathering intelligence on the Palestinian Liberation Organization under the guise of a British screenwriter.
Her work was crucial to a 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon—also known as “Operation Spring of Youth”—in which the Israel Defense Forces eliminated three of the highest-ranking PLO leaders as well as a 100 more of its terrorists.
Man returned to Israel several days after the operation so as not to endanger herself and other agents involved. She was welcomed in Israel as a national hero. Upon return, she married her Hebrew teacher.
Born in Canada in 1936, Man immigrated to Israel in 1968 at the age of 31. She was drafted into the Mossad in 1971 and served in the agency for 15 years.
Former Israeli Prime Minister and IDF Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, who led the army forces during “Operation Spring of Youth,” paid tribute to Man: “A walking legend of courage, composure and professionalism. She completed our intelligence for ‘Operation Spring of Youth’ to eliminate the terrorist leaders in Beirut. She was there while we were approaching to make sure they [the terrorists] were indeed in their apartments and stayed in the area so as not to leave a sign. Endless courage. May her memory be a blessing.”