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China reportedly decides not to send team to probe ambassador’s death

China has decided it will not send a team to investigate the death of ambassador Du Wei in his Herzliya home Sunday, the Ynet news website reports.

A preliminary probe by Israeli authorities found that Wei, who had begun his term in February, died of natural causes from unspecified health issues.

According to Israeli media reports, no signs of violence were found on his body, but the Haaretz daily reported Monday that Beijing would send a team Tuesday to carry out an independent investigation.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry does not immediately comment on either report.

The death came at a sensitive time for Israel-China ties.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian confirms that ambassador Du Wei, 57, died unexpectedly “of health reasons,” a day ago, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Ambassador Du and would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently conducting the follow-up work,” Zhao says, according to the paper.

The ministry said Sunday it believed the death was of natural causes but details still needed to be verified.

Header: Journalist film as an ambulance leaves the residence of the Chinese ambassador, in the central Israeli city of Herzliya, Sunday, May 17, 2020. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner)