* Yeruham Cohen; Israeli Soldier Had Personal Link to Nasser
Yeruham Cohen, 75, an early Israeli undercover soldier and one of the very few Israelis to ever meet Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Cohen, who spoke Arabic, was a top aide to the commander of Israel’s underground forces during the 1948 war for independence. He was most famous for his acquaintance with Nasser, before the Egyptian became one of the most virulent anti-Israeli Arab leaders in the 1950s and ‘60s. They met during the independence war while Israeli forces encircled Egyptian troops at Faluja in the southern Negev Desert. Nasser at the time was a major and top assistant to Egyptian commander Taha Bey. Cohen accompanied Israeli commander Yigal Allon, who later served as foreign minister, in negotiating the terms of a truce with the Egyptians. Nasser became president of Egypt after leading an officers’ coup in 1952 and was succeeded in 1970 by Anwar Sadat. In Jerusalem on Aug. 12 of undisclosed causes.