PUBLISHED:23:12 EST, 14 September 2012| UPDATED:23:12 EST, 14 September 2012
When most people think of international spies, they probably imagine hyper-masculine figures such as James Bond or Jason Bourne.
But Israel’s fearsome secret service has developed a new breed of super-spy – seductive young women.
And the highly trained agents say that ‘any means is valid’ when it comes to deploying their feminine wiles – though they would draw the line at sleeping with the enemy.
The world has never previously heard from the female spies of the Mossad, who have been crucial to some of the agency’s greatest triumphs.
But now five of them have spoken out for the first time, telling Israeli magazine Lady Globes about their extraordinary lifestyle which makes them feel as if they are ‘living in a movie’.
The most notable deployment of the women’s unique talents came in 1986, when one agent seduced a turncoat former nuclear engineer and lured him into a trap so he could be taken back to Israel.
A current agent calling herself Yael tells the magazine that women often had an advantage over men, as they were more likely to be trusted by strangers.
‘A man who wants to gain access to a forbidden area has less chance of being allowed in,’ she says. ‘A smiling woman has a bigger chance of success.’
Another spy, Efrat, echoes the sentiment, saying: ‘We use our femininity because any means is valid.’
But she adds that there are things she and her comrades would not do: ‘Even if we think that the way to advance the mission is to sleep with Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, no one in the Mossad would allow us to do it.
‘Women agents are not used for sexual purposes. We flirt, but the line is drawn at sex.’
However, not all their work is glamorous, as 38-year-old Ella explains to Lady Globes.
‘I leave a secure home, my husband and three small children sleeping safely in their beds with tears welling in my eyes and a growing lump in my throat,’ she says.
Mossad chief Tamir Pardo told the magazine that around half of the agency’s spies are women, and said that the fairer sex has some distinct advantages over male agents.
‘Women have a distinct advantage in secret warfare because of their ability to multitask,’ he said.
‘Contrary to stereotypes, you see that women’s abilities are superior to men in terms of understanding the territory, reading situations, spatial awareness. When they’re good, they’re very good.