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This novel is dedicated to…

Hadar Cohen

(Or Yehuda 1997 – Jerusalem 2016)


Hadas Malka

(Ashdod 1994 – Jerusalem 2017)


Solomon Gavriyah

(Be’er Yaakov 1997 – Har Adar 2017)


Yael Yekutiel

(Givatavim 1997 – Jerusalem 2017)


Shir Hajaj

(Moshav Azaria 1995 – Jerusalem 2017)


Shira Tzur

(Haifa 1997 – Jerusalem 2017)


May our deceased and wounded heroes who sacrificed themselves to defend our freedom and security know the deepness of our gratitude.


Your sacrifice is to be remembered. 


Ariel Lilli



“Jewish people have outlived through the centuries, Jewish people have suffered for all these centuries, but that made them stronger.” Anne Frank


How I miss the bitter cold wind of Haifa in the first morning hours! How I miss Haifa! 


To have a 164 IQ was a curse. My intelligence stole my youth. I could have done so many things: play volleyball, play piano, or be a model. Instead, here I am, on one of the most prestigious operational teams of the National Security Service.


Writing in black and white and expressing all my feelings wasn’t easy. I have lived many lives in one. To avoid going mad and find myself again, to tell all my experiences, fears, hopes, loves, and untold truths, I decided to write this book. 


To live undercover for months, sometimes years, without a break, cutting off relationships with my real life, lying to my friends, family, and sometimes to myself, created a conflicting relationship with the identities I have in turn covered. This lifestyle changes the way you perceive real life. 


One day, while I was playing pool in a club here in Montreal, a gentleman remarked how well I was playing for one so young. But age is not to be measured in years, but in mileage, and I have travelled many miles and am tired now. Tired of always having to play hard. Tired of lying. Tired of feeling frightened.


In a mission, you never know what might happen. Two months ago, Shani and I were almost killed. We were violently beaten up. With the taste of sweat and blood in my throat, I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and, in my mind, I went through the reasons for joining the Israeli Secret Services. The terror I felt is still with me every time I note a stranger’s eyes resting on me. Why am I sacrificing my life? I recalled an episode of a few years ago when we were told that a Hamas terrorist cell had entered Israel and was about to target the Dizingoff Center with a bacteriologic attack. That time we managed to neutralise them just on time. A few hours later, I went back to the shopping mall to get an ice cream with my friends, Shani, Shlomit, Zoe, and Aviv. All those families and children would have died without our intervention. This is why I do this job, to defend my people and, ambitious as that may sound, to defend the world democracy. 

Right now, as I allow my pen to put in writing my thoughts, I am sitting in a café in Richardson Street in Montreal, where I am due to meet a source. I hope everything will be fine this time. When will all this come to an end? So much work has been done and so much still to do! I remember Milan six months ago, San Diego, Buffalo, Tel Aviv, and Madrid three months ago, and last month in the record shop between Pitt Street and Circular Quay in Sydney.


I remember all the attacks I helped to neutralise with my team. I think of all those nameless and faceless stars, who only live in the indelible memory of those who met them, at the entrance of the agency headquarters in Tel Aviv. I think of all those agents who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to also save your life.


Please make sure their deaths weren’t in vain. I wish for a world where my job would be unnecessary, a world without conflicts due to religious extremists.


As I write, my thoughts go to my colleagues in Jerusalem who are the last bastion of democracy, to the lions and lionesses of Magav, to Shira fighting every day, to Heli who left her operative service at the Damascus Gate after three long years. Thankful for the great privilege of protecting the people of Israel in the most sacred place of the world. 

I think of Hadar and Hadas, who sacrificed their lives for Jerusalem and to Solomon who died in Har Adar. I think of his girlfriend, Betty, and his relatives. How many more people: mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, boyfriends, and girlfriends will have to be deprived of their dearest and left alone due to terrorist actions? I don’t feel like condemning just the perpetrator’s hands for these crimes. 


My wrath, rage, and contempt are turned to those who arm those hands with their ideologies. Their speeches, bursting of hatred and resentment, fill like water in the desert.  The empty life of people brainwashed by an absurd extremist ideology. Now, they have blood on their hands. While they stay safe and warm in their houses, they send young men to die, after having raised them with blind hatred. 


I feel I will end up, sooner or later, on that wall, a little star amongst many others. I will finally join my comrades, young guys in love with a life they could not live. At times, I really wish to be amongst them. 


This job consumes your consciousness – you have to see and do things nobody would even dream of doing. Sooner or later I will also commit some imprudence, an error of judgment, a mistake that will costs me life – a life I feel is empty. 

I hope this book will be enjoyable and good food for thought. I had to change a few names and camouflage some situations, which would otherwise threaten the State of Israel’s safety. My experiences have been translated in the form of a novel. I hope you’ll be able to read my message of hope and love between the lines.


This is a journey to the outer fringes of the law, which started in 2014, before the war in Gaza. It’s the work of a group of friends, who became, in the space of few months, one of Mossad’s best operative teams. 


Ariel Lilli