Rifaat Al-Jamal, known as “Raafat Al-Hagan” (Al-Jazeera)

One of the most famous Egyptian intelligence agents in Israel, he spent about 17 years under the name “Jack Peyton” during a period in which the Arab region witnessed unity between Syria and Egypt and the 1967 war, coinciding with Israel’s interest in the intelligence aspect of pursuing officers of the German Nazi Party around the world.

Birth and upbringing

Rifaat Ali Suleiman El-Gammal - whose nom de guerre was “Raafat Al-Hagan” - was born in Damietta Governorate, Egypt, on July 1, 1927, into a middle-income family. He had three brothers, Sami, Labib, and Nazih.

His father worked in the coal trade, and his mother was a housewife who was fluent in English and French. After his father’s death in 1936, the family moved to live in Cairo, and his brother Sami worked as an English teacher, which made Refaat fluent in English and French while he was still a student in school.

He studied high school in the commercial school and graduated in 1946. He later worked as an assistant to the accounts officer on a commercial ship between Egypt and European ports. Then he moved to Liverpool, then America, then Canada, then Germany on secret immigration trips. He was forcibly returned to Egypt and worked in the Suez Canal Company due to his mastery of languages ​​and his fluency. He then resigned from it for fear that it would be revealed that he had forged his papers in order to work for the company.

Rifaat later obtained a forged British passport through which he traveled to Britain, but his matter was discovered in Libya and he was returned to Egypt in 1952 after it was believed that he was an Israeli agent hiding behind a forged passport to obtain information.

In 1963, during his visit to Germany, he married the German woman Waltraud Bitton, with whom he had Daniel, and their relationship continued until his death.

Raafat Al-Hagan began his intelligence career with Egyptian intelligence under the name “Jack Peyton” (Al-Jazeera)

Intelligence experience

Refaat began his intelligence career after being employed by the Egyptian Intelligence, which gave him the nickname Raafat Al-Hagan, due to his skills in concealment and his fluency in the languages ​​he mastered. So his new life began under the name “Jack Peyton,” who was born on August 23, 1919 in Mansoura to a father He is French and has an Italian mother, according to the documents given to him.

Rifaat did not move to live directly in Israel. Rather, he lived in the Jewish neighborhood in Alexandria as an Ashkenazi Jew who lived in West Germany and northern France. Then he later immigrated via France to Tel Aviv, where he established a travel and shipping agency.

Rifaat was able to work for 17 years in Tel Aviv, and he continued to transmit news to Egyptian intelligence during those years. He would travel to Europe under the pretext of trade, but the real goal was to meet with envoys from Egyptian intelligence to follow up on the tasks assigned to him.

According to the Egyptian story, he had a fundamental role in the 1973 war, as the information he sent during his years of service played a pivotal role in the superiority of the Egyptian forces at the beginning of the war due to his understanding of the Israeli army and its method of operation.

Intelligence achievement

Rifaat’s wife stated after his death that he was the one who revealed the identity of the Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who worked in Syria under the name “Kamel Amin Thabet,” when he saw a picture in an Arab newspaper showing Amin Kamel Thabet in the company of Syrian officers, as he knew him from Cairo and they were arrested together in 1954 on charges of Spying for Israel, but they were released after the Egyptian intelligence learned that Rifaat was working for them. Cohen traveled to Tel Aviv without knowing Rifaat’s true identity, and thus Rifaat told the Egyptian intelligence about the identity of Kamel Amin Thabet, who in turn informed the Syrian intelligence of the matter.

Eli Cohen was arrested and executed in 1965, while the Syrian story confirms that his arrest was by 3 Syrian officers who were able to pick up signals from the “Morris” device through which he was communicating with Israeli intelligence.

Raafat Al-Hagan married German woman Valtraud Bitton in 1963 during his visit to Germany (social networking sites)

The Israeli novel

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in 2004 that Rifaat was a double agent, and said that Israeli intelligence recruited him shortly after his arrival in Tel Aviv after it revealed his work with Egyptian intelligence.

The newspaper says that Israeli intelligence discovered about Raafat Al-Hagan through his partner, “Imra Farid,” who was a retired member of the Israeli security service. Rifaat’s extensive movements between Tel Aviv and Europe attracted the attention of his partner, so he informed the Israeli intelligence, which followed him and watched him meet with another Egyptian agent in Europe.

After she exposed him, she arrested him at the airport, and later gave him a choice between prison and delivering to Egyptian intelligence the information that its Israeli counterpart wanted and allowed. The beginning was that Israeli intelligence gave Rifaat pictures of some Israeli army bases with the aim of strengthening the Egyptians’ confidence in it.

According to the Israeli story, Rifaat played a major role in the Egyptian defeat in 1967 and the destruction of the Egyptian air fleet by Israeli aircraft after it carried the information that Israel wanted to deliver to Egypt during the Six-Day War.

Rifaat told Egyptian intelligence - according to the Israeli story - that the battle would begin with ground movements, and this information made Egypt leave its planes visible on airport runways, so the Israeli Air Force did not find it difficult to destroy them within 3 hours.

Later, Israeli intelligence arranged a partnership for Raafat Al-Hagan with an Italian businessman so that he could continue his work in trade after performing his services for Israel, according to what the newspaper says. In 2011, Israel considered Refaat’s recruitment for Israeli intelligence to be one of its most successful operations with spies ever in terms of effectiveness and impact. It was called "Operation Wedge."

Israeli spy Eli Cohen, whose identity Raafat Al-Hagan had a role in revealing (social networking sites)

Egyptian series

In 1987, Egyptian television began producing a drama series about Refaat’s life that spanned 56 episodes, entitled “Raafat Al-Hagan.” The three parts of the series - which spanned 3 consecutive years - dealt with his life, starting with his relationship with his wife and the tasks he undertook, within a dramatic plot that began with his confession of his identity. To his wife on his deathbed in the first episode, then as the episodes pass, the details of his life are told from the beginning.

Mahmoud Abdel Aziz participated in the work as Raafat Al-Hagan, Yousra played the role of his wife, and Youssef Shaaban played the role of the Egyptian officer who discovered Refaat’s talent and harnessed it to serve the Egyptian state. The work was directed by Yahya Al-Alami, and he created his audio identity and the melody of his badge was composed by Ammar Al-Sharaie.


"Rifat" died in Germany on January 30, 1982 after suffering for a long time with an incurable illness. He was buried in Germany in a small village 15 kilometers away from Frankfurt called Gottsenhain, where Rifaat had lived under the name "Jack" between 1964 and 1978.

Source: websites