CHINA / National

Cooperation vowed in handling death
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-02 06:13

Israel yesterday pledged "100 per cent" co-operation with China to handle the aftermath of the death of a Chinese UN observer in an Israeli air raid on a UN post in southern Lebanon.

PLA soldiers carry Du Zhaoyu's coffin to a millitary plane which left Israel for China yesterday afternoon. [Xinhua]

Nadav Eshcar, political and press officer of the Israeli Embassy in China, described the death of Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu as a "tragedy," for which Israel expressed deep sorrow.

"As we have promised, we will be 100 per cent co-operative to show our goodwill in this time of hardship," he told China Daily.

Eshcar said the Israeli Government co-operated fully with the Chinese team sent to bring back Du's body.

Israeli authorities issued visas on the spot for the team's seven members, who included Du's widow Li Lingling and officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Peacekeeping Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defence.

The team flew to Tel Aviv last Thursday to bring back Du's body.

Eshcar said Israel also allowed a Chinese military plane to land at Tel Aviv International Airport to carry Du's coffin home.

The body was transferred from UN peacekeeping forces to Chinese authorities at 3 pm yesterday, local time.

At a ceremony attended by the Chinese Ambassador to Israel Chen Yonglong, Du's coffin was covered with a national flag and carried aboard the military plane.

It left Tel Aviv later yesterday and is expected to arrive at Nanyuan Airport in Beijing this morning.

Eshcar said the Israeli Ambassador to China, Yehoyada Haim, will attend a memorial ceremony planned in Beijing to remember 34-year-old Du.

Du, who has a 1-year-old son, died with three other UN observers last Wednesday, when Israeli planes bombed their base in the town of Khiam near the eastern end of Lebanon's border with Israel.

(China Daily 08/02/2006 page1)


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