Israel honours dead Chinese envoy ahead of repatriation

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TEL AVIV – The body of China’s ambassador to , who died earlier this week, was handed to authorities in a ceremony at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport on Wednesday (May 20).

Soldiers from Israel’s military police, wearing surgical masks, white peak hats and armbands over their olive green uniforms carried the ambassador’s wooden coffin, covered by the red and yellow Chinese flag, an Agence France-Presse correspondent reported.

The coffin was placed on a black altar surrounded by white wreaths of flowers of the body’s to China.

Ambassador Du Wei was 57 when he was found at his home in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, on Sunday (May 17).

The Chinese foreign ministry said that “health reasons” were the presumed cause of Du’s death, and Israeli police had not conducted a criminal investigation into the incident.

Du had taken his post in Israel in February, with part of his duties including advancing cooperation in high-tech and other sectors.

Israel’s new Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazy, who took charge of the ministry the day after Du’s death, expressed his sincere condolences and offered his deepest sympathies to the ambassador’s family over his “sudden and tragic passing”.

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