Netflix is soon to show a new TV series based on the real-life exploits of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who spent years undercover in Syria in the early 1960s.

The Spy, a co-production with Canal Plus, tells the story of Eliyahu Ben-Shaul Cohen, known as Eli Cohen, an Egyptian Jew who – after spying in Egypt – gained “unprecedented infiltration into the top military and political echelons” in Syria.

Posing as a Syrian businessman returning from Argentina, he rose to the position of Chief Advisor to the Syrian Defence Minister, and the intelligence he gathered is said to have been crucial to Israel’s success in the Six Day War.

The makers of the series say Cohen’s unique access and influence “changed the face of the Middle East – but came at a very high personal cost”.

The series is the work of French producer Alain Goldman, who was behind La Vie en Rose and Babylon AD, and was written and directed by Gideon Raff, who put together Prisoners of War and Homeland. It will premiere in France on Canal Plus and globally outside of France on Netflix.