Father of IDF soldier slain on Oct 7: Paris hostage talks bring ‘optimistic moment’

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

The father of a female soldier killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 calls the weekly rally for hostages in Gaza on Saturday “an optimistic moment” because of talks in Paris on a prisoner swap between Israel and the Gaza terrorist group.

Speaking on Saturday night at the 20th consecutive rally for the hostages’ release at Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square, Eyal Eshel, whose daughter Roni, 19, was a surveillance soldier serving in the Nahal Oz army base, calls her death “unnecessary.”

Roni Eshel would have still been alive today had the commanders of her unit listened to her and her fellow surveillance soldiers’ warnings about unusual activity along the border by Hamas, which later turned out to be training for the October 7 onslaught on Israel, Eshel tells the thousands of people gathered on Hostages Square.

But, he adds, “this is an optimistic moment,” citing progress in talks in Paris about a prisoner swap. “Don’t let there be more unnecessary deaths, make the deal now,” says Eshel. The crowd chants back “Deal now.”

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