JERUSALEM — The legendary former Mossad agent who led the operation to capture Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann has expressed surprising support for the nationalist Alternative for Germany party.

The 91-year-old Rafi Eitan says in a video statement on his Facebook page Saturday that Israel appreciates the party’s “attitude toward Judaism” and looks for them to also “become an alternative to Europe.”

The party, AfD, won 12.6 percent of the vote in Germany’s September election to win seats in parliament for the first time and become the country’s third-biggest party. Its leaders have expressed anti-Semitic statements and played down the crimes of the Nazi regime.

Eitan, a former Israeli Cabinet minister, appeared to endorse the party’s hard-line toward Muslim immigrants.

Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, condemned Eitan’s statement as “sad and shameful.”

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