The body of the former Mossad agent who was killed in a boating accident on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on May 28 arrived back in Israel on Wednesday morning, the government confirmed.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that no additional details would be forthcoming due to the individual’s past service to the country.
“The Mossad has lost a dear, dedicated and professional colleague who, for decades, devoted his life to the security of the State of Israel, even after his retirement. The Mossad mourns the loss and shares in the grief of the family, which it will continue to support and embrace,” said the statement.
Israeli media identified the deceased as 50-year-old Erez Shimoni.
The other fatalities among the 22 passengers and two crew members were two Italians who worked for the country’s intelligence service and the Russian wife of the boat captain. The rest of those aboard managed to swim to shore or were rescued by other boats, although five of them were injured in the incident.
Claudio Alonzi, 62, and Dr. Tiziana Barnovi, 53, were named as the Italian victims, and Anya Bozhkova, 50, was the Russian victim.
According to reports, 18 of the 20 survivors were also either active or former intelligence agents. Like the Israelis, the Italians were quickly evacuated from emergency rooms and hotels “so as not to leave a trace.”
“Every time we would ask, he would smile broadly and say nothing. The most discreet man I knew, the salt of the earth,” said a close friend of Shimoni’s.