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Chinese ambassador to Israel, 57, found dead in his home

Chinese officials have yet to comment on the ambassador's death

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

China's ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, has been found dead on Sunday at his home in a coastal suburb north of Tel Aviv, officials said. No cause of death was provided, and Israeli police said it was investigating.

Israeli news organizations reported that there were no signs of violence or foul play. "As part of the regular procedure, police units are at the scene," a spokesman said.

Unidentified emergency medical officials said initial indications show that Du died in his sleep of natural causes, according to Israel's Channel 12 TV.

Chinese officials have yet to comment on the ambassador's death.

Du was living in Herzliya, about six miles north of Tel Aviv.

Wei became ambassador to Israel in February, and previously served as envoy to Ukraine. Du arrived in Israel on Feb. 15 and immediately had to self-quarantine for 14 days because of coronavirus precautions.

In a message published on the embassy's website just weeks after his appointment as ambassador, Du praised the relations between "the second largest economy in the world and Israel the start-up nation."

The friendly exchanges between Chinese and Jewish peoples date back to one thousand years ago. Our two peoples admired and supported each other, leaving us with numerous touching stories. Over the recent years, the people-to-people exchanges between China and Israel have been growing on a fast track, which injected new vitality to the tree of friendship between our peoples. The Chinese Embassy in Israel is committed to promoting friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

Du's death comes two days after the Chinese embassy in Israel condemned comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who accused China of hiding information about the coronavirus outbreak.

"Currently, the United States is the epicenter of the pandemic, But, the current situation in the US is not caused by China, rather the inaction of a few American politicians who missed the window of opportunity to bring the virus under control. From this perspective, the tragedy in the US is not only a natural disaster but also a result of mismanagement," the embassy told the Jerusalem Post.

The ambassador is survived by a wife and son, both of whom were not in Israel.

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