Jake Marlowe 'tried to help people even in last moments' before he vanished in Israel

Jake, a British Arsenal fan and metal musician, went missing after Hamas attacked a music festival taking place near Gaza. His lifelong-friend Daniel Aboudy speaks to the JC


A lifelong friend of Jake Marlowe, the 26-year-old Briton missing in Israel, has described how the Londoner sacrificed his own safety to help others coming under attack from Hamas terrorists at a dance festival near Gaza on Saturday.

Jake, an Arsenal fan and metal musician from north London, was working as part of the security team at an all-night dance music festival being held near Kibbutz Re'im, close to the Gaza Strip, to celebrate the end of the Succot, when the terrorists descended from the air and opened fire indiscriminately. He had been working alongside his friends Shlomi Ziv, and Aviv Eliyahu, who have also been reported missing.

His parents, Lisa and Michael, who live in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, have launched a desperate appeal for help as they attempt to locate their son’s whereabouts from the UK.

A carpenter and former pupil at the Jewish Free School in London, Jake, who also rgoes by the Hebrew name Kobi, moved to Israel in November 2021 and lives in the northern city of Ma'alot.

Daniel Aboudy, a lifelong friend who attended nursery, primary and secondary school with the missing Briton, has been close with Jake since the pair were just two years old.

Aboudy told the JC of how, after finishing school, Jake studied music at college and went on to become a drummer and bass guitarist, gaining a reputation on the UK metal scene, After sustaining an injury he found work at a trainer retailer and then at jeweller's. More recently, Jake began working as a carpenter, a trade he continued to work in when he made aliyah.

An “incredibly skilled tradesman”, Jake made extra money working in events security, which is, Aboudy said, how he came to be at the rave near Gaza this weekend.

“Even in the last moments at this event when there were signals of rockets coming over and terrorists coming in he tried to help people evacuate,” said Aboudy, who received a WhatsApp voicenote recorded by his friend early on Saturday explaining that he was trying to get festival-goers to safety .

“It is a testament to his character, he would give the shirt off his back to help others,” Aboudy continued.

“I hope in making the sacrifices he tends to make he didn’t do anything reckless.”

The message, Aboudy said, was “very brief”, and was recorded at about 9am local time.

“It was saying ‘Things are going on around Gaza, they’re coming in from there, we’re trying to evacuate everyone, I’m on an ATV [a quad bike] and we are telling everyone to get out.’”

Explaining why his friend made the move from the UK to Israel, Aboudy said Jake had become increasingly interested in genealogy, and learning about his roots, combined with observing a spike in antisemitism in the UK, prompted him to reconsider where his future lay.

“He hadn’t been to Israel for about 10 years. He realised, this is where I belong [and] he made the move in November 2021… Jake was happy living his life the way it was, it was simple, he was seeking out adventure. He was a massive fan of Israel, he was thriving there and living his best life.”

The Marlowe family are “numb”, and desperately awaiting any news on Jake’s whereabouts, he added.

Reflecting on a lifetime of friendship, he said: “We were in the same class for everything: nursery, primary secondary… Everyone [at JFS] is freaking out.”

Léa, another close friend of Jake's, told the JC of the "indescribable pain" she had been in since learning of his disapparance.

"I will never forget this day. It is probably one of the most painful days of my life," said Léa, who was unable to sleep on Saturday night.

"I can't describe how lost and empty I'm feeling right now."

Addressing Jake directly, she said: "You are a force, you are a miracle, you are so clever... you are so unique, you are so funny and you are so real."

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in London confirmed that Jake is missing and had no further information. They said: "He is missing, we don't know for sure that he is taken hostage or dead or in a hospital."

Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom Tzipi Hotovely told Sky News today: "I know there is one British citizen who is in Gaza at the moment.

"The Israeli government is doing everything we can to help those who are held hostage and every citizen who is taken is returned."

Jake's mother Lisa has also spoken of her desperation for news of her son, describing the pain of listening to his phone ring out when she calls.

At approximately 5.30 on Saturday morning, she said, she received a message from her son stating: "Signal very bad, everything OK, will keep you updated I promise you". Speaking to Jewish News, she added that her son also told her he loved her.

“I don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing," Marlowe said.

"I’ve got people in Israel phoning the home guard command, others talking to others, everyone’s just trying to help as much as they can.”

Marlowe could still here a ringing tone when dialling her son, but that either the call was not coming through or Jake was unable to answer.

"It’s ringing, but I don’t think it’s actually ringing. Well, I’m hoping that it’s not ringing and that he’s just not able to pick it up. He’s not been online for hours," she said.

“I’ve left him lots of WhatsApp messages but I’ve not been able to leave him a [voice] message… I can’t bear to listen to the phone just ringing and not being answered.”

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