The names of the two Israeli passengers who were killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash were released to the media on Tuesday.
Shimon Re’em Bitton was a civic defense contractor on route to Kenya. He was the chief of security in two Israeli embassies in South America, according to a press release on behalf of the company he worked for, BDO.
His work colleagues described Bitton as “a witty and charming man” who lead an exemplary family life. He is survived by a wife and five children.
The other Israeli who was killed on the flight is Avraham Matzliah. Matzliah was a successful hi-tech businessman who left behind two adult daughters who currently serve in the IDF.
“My mom still believes he might be alive. She’s in total denial,” his sister Meirav told Ynet. “She won’t believe he’s gone until she sees the body.”
Israeli and South African ZAKA workers are currently in Ethiopia searching for the remains in order to bring them to a Jewish burial in Israel.
All 157 passengers on the flight died when the plane crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 km. southeast of Addis Ababa.