Swinburne student among dead

Melbourne’s Swinburne University has confirmed that one of its international students is amongst the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Ithamar Avnon, a Dutch-Israeli citizen, was a second-year Bachelor of Business student at the university and was living in the inner-city suburb of Windsor.

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In a statement, the university said it was “devastated” to learn Mr Avnon was on board.

“The Swinburne University of Technology community was devastated today to learn that one of our international students, Mr Ithamar Avnon, was a passenger on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17,” said the statement.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Mr Avnon’s family took to Facebook to express their sadness over the loss over their son.

Mr Avnon’s father, Dov Avnon, said that his son had served as a paratrooper in the Israeli Defence Force.

“My son Ithamar was on a plane that crashed over Ukraine. He was heading back to Australia after a visit to the Netherlands. He survived military service in the paratroopers and [Operation] Cast Lead,” wrote Mr Avnon, referencing Israeli operations in the Gaza strip in 2008 and 2009.

– with ABC

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