The ambassador had only arrived in Israel in February and previously served as an ambassador to Ukraine.
Rabat – The recently-appointed Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, was found dead early this morning at his home in Herziya, approximately 10 kilometers north of Tel Aviv.
Israeli police launched an investigation into the diplomat’s death after Du’s aides discovered his body, according to the police and the foreign ministry.
Du had only arrived in Israel on February 15. Israeli police have yet to announce an official cause of death, but initial reports suggest the ambassador died of a heart attack.
Du, 57, left behind a wife and son who were not in Israel at the time of his passing due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel.
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz posted on Twitter that he was shocked by the tragic news of the Chinese ambassador’s passing.
“Ambassador Du was a distinguished career diplomat and during his short time in Israel had already contributed to the bilateral relations between the countries,” Katz wrote.
Du had been working with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 30 years. Prior to working in Israel, he served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to 2019.
Upon arriving in Israel, Du was subjected to a two-week self-isolation period in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soon after his diplomatic appointment, the ambassador was quick to contribute his voice to Israeli media and recently wrote an op-ed which sparked tensions between Du and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Du called Pompeo’s latest public criticism of China’s response to COVID-19 “absurd” and comparable to the historic mistreatment of Jews.
Israeli media sources reported that Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuval Rotem offered his condolences and said Israel would “help the Chinese embassy with anything they may need along the way.”