JERUSALEM (AFP, REUTERS) - China’s ambassador to Israel was found dead in his home in a Tel Aviv suburb on Sunday (May 17), Israeli police said.
Mr Du Wei, 57, who had arrived in Israel in mid-February, was found dead in his Herzliya home, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding that police were investigating.
Mr Du’s wife and son were not with him in Israel.
“As part of the regular procedure, police units are at the scene,” a police spokesman told Reuters.
The Chinese foreign ministry said it would only comment when it had "solid" information.
Mr Du had previously served as ambassador to Ukraine, according to his biography on the embassy’s website.
The Haaretz daily said initial reports stated that staff had found Mr Du dead in his bed and that there were no signs of violence.
It quoted a first aid service as saying the cause of death appeared to be a cardiac incident.
A spokesman for the medical service would not provide any official information.
Israel’s Channel 12 TV, quoting unidentified emergency medical officials, said initial indications were that Du died in his sleep of natural causes.
Mr Du had undergone a 14-day home quarantine on arrival in Israel because of the new coronavirus outbreak, according to an interview with local media in May.
On April 2, Israel Hayom, the top-circulation Hebrew newspaper, published an editorial by Mr Du on the theme that "Collaboration is the Cure for the Virus".
China and Israel, a strong US ally, have boosted cooperation in the high-tech and other sectors, leading Washington to urge Israel to limit Chinese investment in its strategic sectors.
Chinese embassy spokesman Wang Yongjun in a recent Jerusalem Post commentary rejected the claim and called Sino-Israeli cooperation a "win-win" situation.