The remains of the second Israeli man who died in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in March have been found and identified, an Israeli rescue group said Wednesday.
ZAKA, an Israeli emergency response organization that collects human remains for burial, said it had succeeded in identifying the remains of 49-year-old Avraham Matsliah from Ma’ale Adumim.
In June, ZAKA volunteers discovered the remains of 55-year-old Shimon Reem from the city of Zichron Yaakov.
Ethiopian authorities have drawn criticism for the manner in which recovery efforts have been handled. More than six months after the disaster the remains of some victims have yet to be identified.
ZAKA members were initially prevented by Ethiopian authorities from accessing the crash site and according to co-founder and head of ZAKA, Yehuda Meshi Zahav, it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal request to his Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that eventually enabled them to reach the area.
On March 10, the Boeing 737 Max 8 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down six minutes after takeoff, apparently due to a technical malfunction, killing all 157 people on board. The victims were from 35 countries all over the world, including Kenya, Israel, Canada, Italy, China, Ethiopia and the United States.
The crash followed another 737 Max in Indonesia, with both accidents killing a total of 346 people. The Boeing plan has been grounded by airlines across the world since the crashes.
For most people and faiths around the world, physical remains are not necessary in order to perform a complete religious funeral. However, this is a necessity for Jewish burials. Despite the delay in retrieving the remains, a special rabbinic court ruled late March that the families of the two Israeli men killed in the crash may begin the traditional mourning process for their loved ones.