Father of former JFS pupil killed on October 7 recalls his joy at hostage rescue

Jake Marlowe had been close friends with hostage Shlomi Ziv


Former captive Shlomi Ziv in a first embrace with his sister, Revital Nasi (left), and cousin Liat Ariel. (Photo: The Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

The father of a British man murdered at the Nova music festival has spoken of his elation at finding out about the rescue of the four hostages, one of whom was a close friend of his son.

Former JFS pupil Jake Marlowe, 26, was doing security along with Shlomi Ziv, 41, and Aviv Eliyahu, 38, a relative of Shlomi’s wife, Miran.

Both Jake and Aviv were killed when Hamas terrorists stormed the site and massacred 364 people. Shlomi was abducted into Gaza, where he was held captive for over eight months before the dramatic rescue operation last week.

Speaking at a vigil in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire for the remaining 116 hostages, Michael Marlowe said that they had been with Shlomi’s two sisters, Revital and Adi, in Haifa when they had heard the news of the hostage rescue.

He said: “Revital saw on her phone that there were rumours of four hostages that had been rescued and Shlomi was one of them. She was frantically calling and texting to find out if her dreams were true or a cruel hoax. Adi, the younger and calmer one, was trying to do just that - calm her down.”

Michael said that they then experienced “a moment we will never ever forget. The news was true. Revital stood up and screamed and screamed and screamed that Shlomi and three other hostages had been rescued.”

“The entire restaurant erupted in cheers, dancing and clapping. People ran to embrace the sisters. Our phones lit up with messages of pure joy from friends and family. Revital and Adi raced off to finally hug their big brother.”

Michael, whose birthday was on the day of the hostage rescue, said that they had spent the earlier part at the site of the Nova festival on what he said began as “my saddest birthday ever”.

But being with Shlomi’s sisters when they heard the news had changed the course of the day – and Michael said that he believed his son had played a part in that. “We believe in beshert [which translates as “preordained”]. We believe we were late to meet the sisters for a reason. Jake delayed us to make sure we were there with the sisters when the glorious news broke.”

Watching the families reunite on TV, Michael said: “You could feel and see what this rescue had done for Israel and indeed the world. It was the shot in the arm of adrenalin that was so very needed.”

Paying tribute to Arnon Zmora, the officer who was killed during the hostage rescue, Michael said that at his funeral the next day, “Shlomi’s father and other family members […] laid a wreath on behalf of the four hostage families. Only in Israel.”

Unable to meet Shlomi on this visit, Michael, from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, said they planned to when they are back in Israel to mark the one-year anniversary of October 7.

Recalling seeing a hostage poster of Shlomi for the first time in the UK, Michael said: “We were so excited as we walked towards it and wanted to take a picture of it to show his wife Miran and their entire family that Shlomi and indeed all the hostages were very much front and centre in our thoughts and prayers. We were repulsed with what we saw. Shattered that every single poster had been defaced or torn down.”

Michael and his wife Lisa have attended a number of the vigils in Borehamwood, which have been taking place every Friday morning for the past 34 weeks, organised by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum UK.

Thanking the hundreds of people who attend, Michael said: “What is it about this place that is so uplifting, so emotionally charged, so inspiring and so full of human kindness, hope, belief and love? Look around. It is you.”

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