(JTA) — Shulamit “Shula” Cohen-Kishik, a a spy for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency who worked undercover in Lebanon for 14 years, has died at 100.
Cohen-Kishik, who was codenamed “The Pearl,” died Sunday at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native was raised by Zionist parents who moved the family to prestate Israel. She married Joseph Kishik, a wealthy Jewish-Lebanese businessman from Beirut, when she was 16 and the couple settled in Lebanon.
At 27 she began working for the Mossad, spending the next decade and a half helping to bring persecuted Jews from Arab countries to Israel and gathering intelligence information about Arab military activities — information she was able to collect by getting herself accepted into Lebanon’s high society.
She was caught smuggling in 1952 and taken to jail just three weeks after giving birth, where she spent 36 days in confinement. Cohen-Kishik continued her clandestine activities for another nine years before things became too dangerous and she moved to Rome for three months.
“I never worked for a prize or for glory,” she said. “I did what I did because I wanted to, because I loved the country and I wanted to help its establishment.”