China’s ambassador to Israel, Du Wei was found dead on Sunday morning at his residence in the city of Herzliya in central Israel, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
According to Israeli media reports, the 58-year-old envoy was discovered in his bed, and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained.
However, his death comes less than a week after US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem, openly criticizing China’s actions on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as calling on Israeli leaders to stop signing major infrastructure and communications deals with Chinese companies.
There has been no comment yet on the ambassador’s death from the Chinese embassy in Israel or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.
Before taking up his new post in February as Ambassador to Israel, Du Wei was China’s ambassador to Ukraine.
In an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post in March, Du described how had undergone a two-week home quarantine after arriving in Israel. He urged all countries to work together in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The diplomat also called for the fight against “another common enemy” – misinformation – which included accusations of China concealing relevant data on the spread of the disease. Beijing has repeatedly denied such claims.