Daniel Perez was taken captive near Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7 as Hamas terrorists launched a multi-pronged attack on the Gaza border communities and the Supernova music rave.
Perez was first considered missing; his family later found out that he had been injured and was officially considered a hostage in Gaza.
On the same day, Perez’s older brother, Yonatan Perez, was shot in the leg during a five-hour gun battle with the terrorists in the Gaza envelope.
“There was death and destruction all around. RPGs everywhere. Every army vehicle had been destroyed,” said Yonatan and Daniel’s father, Doron Perez, citing Yonatan.
Ten days later, the Perez family decided to go ahead with the long-planned wedding of Yonatan and his fiance, Galya Landau.
“We couldn’t really think about [the wedding] for the first few days, and with Yonatan injured, we didn’t quite know what to do,” said the senior Perez, a rabbi and executive chairman of the Mizrachi World Movement.
But five days after the bloody onslaught, when Daniel was officially declared a hostage in Gaza and it became clear that Yonatan would recover quickly, the families decided to go ahead with the wedding.
Daniel’s absence was palpable, his father has said.
“When the rabbi mentioned him, it was very, very hard and I broke down,” said his father. “I had my son holding me up, instead of me holding him up.”