Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said on Wednesday that ambassador Doron Grossman suffered a shot to the head at his home in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
A ministry statement said senior officials had been sent to investigate the shooting, and efforts were being made to bring Grossman back to Israel for medical treatment.
"Apparently we are not speaking about a terrorist incident," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "A professional team ... is heading to Ethiopia to check the circumstances of the event."
An official in Addis Ababa with detailed knowledge about the
incident, who asked not to be named, said embassy staff
went to the ambassador's residence in a hotel apartment
after he did not show up for work on Wednesday morning.
He was found inside with a bullet wound to the head, but still
"He shot himself in the head in his room in the Hilton where he stays," the source said on condition of anonymity. "It wasn't an assassination. We think he tried to commit suicide."
"He is in a very bad state," the source added.
About 35,000 Ethiopians have
immigrated to Israel to date
Grossman's term in Ethiopia was due to end this week and
he was expected to become the next ambassador to South
Africa, the official added.
He was described as single and in his 50s.
Bombings, assassinations and kidnappings against Israeli embassies and diplomats were frequent in the 1970s and '80s, but fell sharply during the '90s.
A bombing attack on Israel's embassy in Uzbekistan last year, in which two Uzbek security guards were killed, raised fears that attacks could shift to Israel missions abroad as security was tightened at home.
About 35,000 Ethiopian Jews have immigrated to Israel over the last 20 years.