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China to send team to Israel to collect envoy's remains

Du became ambassador to Israel in March [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 May, 2020

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Chinese ambassador to Israel Du Wei died, reportedly from natural causes, on Sunday.

China is sending a team to Israel to repatriate the body of its ambassador who died at his home in Tel Aviv, reportedly from natural causes, an Israeli diplomatic source said on Monday. 

The Chinese officials were due in Israel "in the coming days" said the source, requesting anonymity. 

It was not clear whether they would have to enter mandatory 14-day coronavirus quarantine before being cleared for movement within Israel.

Late ambassador Du Wei was 57 when he was found dead at his home in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, on Sunday. He was appointed as China's ambassador to Israel in February, taking up the post in March after a 14-day quarantine.

Israel sent forensic experts and police to the scene as part of normal diplomatic procedure, police said. 

China's foreign ministry said Sunday that "health reasons" were the presumed cause of Du's death but that a definitive finding had not yet been reached. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday that Beijing was "doing its best regarding the funeral arrangements."

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