Information alleging Mossad took Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to Israel not officially confirmed: embassy

By Zhu Xiaolei and Leng Shumei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/28 21:35:02

An Israeli medical clown wearing protective gear makes a finger heart before she visits young patients at the COVID-19 department of Sheba Medical Center in the central Israeli city of Ramat Gan on Oct. 20, 2020. About 100 medical clowns of the Dream Doctors Project (DDP) are acting under stringent health precautions at around 30 Israeli hospitals to bring happiness to patients amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

The Israeli Embassy in China clarified with the Global Times on Wednesday that the Israeli government has not confirmed, supported or approved any information on the internet alleging that Israel's intelligence service Mossad had brought a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to Israel to study and learn from it. 

The information was reported by Israeli media. Some media claimed that multiple Israeli government sources have indirectly confirmed the information, but did not clarify how the Mossad obtained the vaccines.  

In response, the embassy said in a statement to the Global Times that the original Israeli reports were based on information provided by independent Israeli news outlets, which were never confirmed or supported, or approved by the Israeli government. 

If the Israeli government would be interested in exchanging knowledge about developing vacancies, it would approach and collaborate with our Chinese friends in an official way under the mechanism of the China-Israel Innovative Comprehensive Partnership, Erez Katz Volovelsky, the embassy spokesperson, said in the statement. 

"Assumptions about an interest of Mossad in the Chinese vaccine should be taken as a great compliment to the Chinese scientists and China's technological abilities, as the Israeli people believe that only the best and most esteemed developments would enjoy this type of attention by Mossad," Volovelsky said. 

The news also became a hot topic on Chinese social media on Wednesday with netizens wondered how Mossad obtained the vaccines if the reports are true. Some joked that at least the reports proved that Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccines are good enough so that even foreign intelligence agencies wanted to get them. 

Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based immunological expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday that Israel is capable of developing COVID-19 vaccines on their own. 

Media reported that six COVID-19 candidates are currently under development in Israel. A candidate developed by Israel's Institute for Biological Research is scheduled to undergo human clinical trials in October at Sheba and Hadassah Medical Centers. 

China is cooperating with other countries and regions, including some Middle East countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia, on phase three clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese companies, which will hopefully enter the market by the end of the year. 

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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