Israel suspects spy device in gift from Chinese Embassy

Thermal cup sounds alarm during routine check, prompting investigation.

Israel suspects spy device in gift from Chinese Embassy

Israel’s Shin Bet security service has launched an investigation into suspicions that China planted a spy device in a thermal cup given as a gift to an Israeli minister, according to local media on Tuesday.

Haaretz newspaper said that the suspicions arose after a routine check of the gift found "suspicious materials."

The cup was sent from the Chinese Embassy to Science, Technology and Space Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen.

"The incident is under investigation,” Haaretz quoted Shin Bet as saying in a statement.

The Ministry of Culture and Sports said the Chinese gift drew suspicions of the ministry's security guards when the inspection body sounded an alarm during the routine security check of the cup.

Following the incident, the Shin Bet contacted additional government offices to locate more of these mugs, but the offices of other ministries said they had not received such gifts from the Chinese Embassy.

Haaretz said security guards were instructed to remain vigil regarding gifts from embassies or foreign governments.

There was no comment from the Chinese Embassy on the report.