Jewish Agency marks 60 years since sinking of migrant boat with 44 aboard

During this year’s Memorial Day ceremony, the Jewish Agency marks 60 years since the sinking of the boat Egoz during a mission to bring Jewish Moroccan immigrants to Israel.

Operated by Mossad, the ship made multiple secret trips to ferry immigrants from Morocco to Gibraltar. From there they would travel to Israel.

Forty-four people died in the incident in 1961, 43 of them immigrants. It is believed the boat hit a rock. Twenty-two bodies were eventually found and brought to burial in Israel.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief for every man, woman and child who died simply because they dared to be part of the miracle that is Israel,” Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog says.

Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog and Gila Gutman Azulay, a relative of people who died on the ship Egoz, light a torch to commemorate the victims of the sinking, April 14, 2021 (The Jewish Agency for Israel)

“We pay tribute to the victims of the Egoz ship and [the Mossad agent on board] Haim Tzarfati. They set sail from Morocco on a stormy winter night 60 years ago and never reached their destination… The ship sank but did not drown the longing for Zion.”

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