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Father of Twin Soldiers Was One of 2 Israelis Killed in Ethiopian Airlines Crash



Avraham Matzliah, 49, a father of twin soldiers from Ma'aleh Adumim, has been identified as one of the two Israelis killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Family

An Ethiopian Airlines flight with 157 people thought to be on board crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning from Ethiopia’s capital while headed to Nairobi, the airline said.

The airline later confirmed that two Israeli passengers were aboard, according to a Times of Israel report.

There were no immediate details on what caused the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November.

Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, told journalists that the pilot had alerted controllers “he had difficulties,” wanted to turn the plane around, and “was given clearance” to do that.

Avraham Matzliah, 49, a father of twin soldiers from Ma’aleh Adumim, has been identified as one of the two Israelis killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.

Matzliah worked in a high-tech company and travelled on the Africa-Israel line for many years

The two daughters of Matzliah, twins named Yael and Noa, are 19-year-old soldiers. Noa serves in the Search and Rescue Brigade and Yael is a guide at Yad La-Shiryon.

Merav and Eva, Matzliah’s sisters, told Channel 12 News in an interview that they had spoken to Avraham for the last time on Friday. Eva said that their mother was always afraid of flying and told Avraham that something bad would happen to him from all the flights he took. “He always laughed and became stronger over the last two years from a religious point of view and said that a person’s fate is not up to him and when something bad happens, it will happen,” she said.

“Unfortunately, we also lost our father under similar circumstances 39 years ago when he stumbled and fell from a height. We have a feeling of deja vu, the sudden death of a close, dear and young man.”

The plane took off on Sunday from the Addis Ababa airport at 8:38 a.m. local time. Six minutes later the connection between the pilot and the control tower was lost. “The pilot noted that there were difficulties and that he wanted to return,” the airline said.

The plane had 149 passengers and eight crew members. On Monday, investigators found the plane’s black box at the scene of the crash.

According to the Flightradar24 tracking website, two Turkish Airlines planes turned for home as Britain and a host of other European countries announced a ban on the jet in the wake of Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster.

The airline itself said it was grounding its entire fleet “until the uncertainty affecting safety is cleared” and flights across Europe turned back.

Flightradar24 showed one of its flights on its way to Tel Aviv turning around and heading back to Stockholm while over Romania.

France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Ireland today became the latest countries to ban the planes from the air.

And this evening the European Union Aviation Safety Agency announced a Europe-wide ban on Max 8 and Max 9 jets that comes into force at 7pm.


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