China’s ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, was found dead in his apartment north of Tel Aviv, an Israeli official told BBC News.
The official said the Israeli police had launched an investigation, but initial results suggested there was no foul play.
Du, 57, was appointed ambassador in February, having previously served as an envoy to Ukraine.
The ambassador was married and had a son, but his family had yet to join him in Israel.
He lived in Herzliya, about 10 km north of Tel Aviv.
An Israeli police spokesman told Reuters news agency: “As part of the normal procedure, police units are on the scene.”
Israel’s television channel 12, citing unidentified medical sources, said initial indications were that Du had died in his sleep from natural causes.
There were no immediate comments on Du’s death from Chinese officials.
In a message posted on the embassy’s website just after his appointment as ambassador, Du praised the relationship between “the world’s second-largest economy and Israel, the emerging nation.”
Self-insulation on arrival
When he arrived in Israel on February 15, Du had to isolate himself immediately for two weeks due to coronavirus restrictions.
In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon last month, Du said China was becoming the world’s scapegoat.
“In history, more than once, a certain group of people was accused of spreading pandemics,” he said.
“That is despicable and must be condemned. The disease is an enemy of all humanity and the world should fight it together.”
On Friday, its embassy carried out a scathing attack on United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had criticized China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic on a visit to Israel.