Father of fallen soldier urges world: Acknowledge Gazan civilians’ role in Oct. 7

The father of the late Sgt. Roni Eshel, z” l, who was tragically murdered by Hamas on October 7, urged the world to acknowledge that Gazan civilians were among those who infiltrated Israel and carried out the massacre that resulted in the deaths of 1,200 individuals.

“A lot of terrorist people came into Israel, but not just terrorist people – civilians – that are asking for humanitarian help today from the whole world,” Eyal Eshel said at The Jerusalem Post Women Leaders Summit in Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening. “Remember, there were terrorists, a lot of terrorists, and civilians.”

Eshel was at the event to receive the Woman of Valor award on behalf of his daughter, a vigilant soldier who bravely fought against Hamas. She was among those who had forewarned about Hamas’s impending actions on that fateful day.

Eyal Eshel (center) receives the Woman of Valor award on behalf of his daughter, the late Sgt. Roni Eshel on March 27, 2024 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Remembering Sgt. Roni Eshel

“She was a beautiful girl,” Eshel said of his daughter, who served as a surveillance soldier at the Nahal Oz base near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The base was among the most brutally hit during the attack. Fifteen surveillance soldiers were killed, and six more were taken hostage on October 7. In total, 66 troops were killed in the attack on the base. “Her smile is the only thing we have today – a memory of Roni.”

Before the event, Eshel told The Jerusalem Post that Roni “began smiling just two hours after her birth” and radiated joy throughout her life. He said she embraced life passionately, cherished her friendships, reveled in celebrations, and deeply loved food. Cooking, particularly Asian and Italian dishes, was something at which Roni excelled.

Roni was 19 years and seven months old when she was murdered.

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