The Chinese ambassador to Israel was found dead at his home north of Tel Aviv, the Israeli foreign ministry has said.
Du Wei, 58, was appointed envoy in February as the coronavirus pandemic wrecked havoc across the world.
The ambassador’s death comes just two days after he condemned comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denounced Chinese investments in Israel and accused China of withholding information about the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday Mr Wei released a statement on the Chinese Embassy’s website hitting back at the claims of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who says China has been involved in cover-up over the true source of the coronavirus.
“We trust that our Jewish friends are not only able to defeat the coronavirus but also the ‘political virus,’ and choose the course of action that best serves its interests,” said the statement.
Pompeo had been visiting Tel Aviv at the time of the comments.
In April, Mr Wei had stated: “China is a law-abiding, responsible country, and should be trusted. Different things have been said regarding China’s battle [against the coronavirus]. Initially, some were condescending and gloating. When the disease broke out across the world, there were those who said that China has to apologise. They were looking for a scapegoat.”
Israel’s foreign ministry has given no cause for his death, but said on Sunday a police investigation had been launched and that police were at the scene.
Du Wei was previously ambassador to Ukraine before taking the post in Israel.
He is survived by his wife and son, who were not in Israel at the time of his death.