He is seen as one of the fathers of Israel's intelligence services.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described him as "a born fighter who stuck to his mission and to what he knew to be right".
We have lost a brave fighter whose contribution to Israel's security will be taught for generations to come. Rafi Eitan was a born fighter who stuck to his mission and to what he knew to be right. Our heads are bowed today in his memory, and in deep appreciation,— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) 23 mars 2019
Eitan was born on a kibbutz in the former British Mandate of Palestine to a family of Russian immigrants in 1926, growing up in Ramat Hasharon north of Tel Aviv.
He was injured fighting in Israel's war of independence in 1948. After his release from the army, he joined the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet where he thrived and was named head of central operations for Shin Bet and Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service.
In the 1980s however Eitan was revealed as the handler of Jonathan Pollard, a US analyst who gave thousands of top secret documents to Israel.
Between 2006 and 2009, Eitan served in parliament for the centrist Gil Party, becoming minister for pensioner affairs.
He died at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on Saturday. He was married to his wife Miriam, with whom he had three children.