China and Israel generally maintain good ties, the two countries celebrating 30 years of diplomacy in January
Israeli officials discovered a suspicious object inside a gift from the Chinese embassy that some believe may be a listening device, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday.
The object was found inside a thermal mug, part of a greater gift box for the Jewish holiday of Passover, and given to the office of Science, Technology, and Space Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen. However, the gift did not reach her.
An investigation from Israel’s internal security service – the Shin Bet – revealed it was a component for heating up the mug and not a surveillance device.
All other cups given by the embassy were collected for further inspection and will not be returned to the embassy.
According to Channel 13, the object was found during a routine inspection carried out by security personnel who confirmed that they were checking for listening devices. Additionally, the gift reportedly set off an alarm, according to Haaretz.