Israel-Hamas war: ‘We all feel his loss’ - JFS pays tribute to former student Nathanel Young

More than 900 Israeli civilians and troops and nearly 700 people in Gaza have reportedly been killed since Hamas’s attack on Saturday morning.
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A north London school has paid tribute to a former student serving in the Israeli army who was killed in the recent attack by Hamas.

Kenton-based Jewish Free School (JFS), which was founded in 1732 and is one of the oldest Jewish institutions in the world, wrote on social media that a 20-year-old ex-student, Nathanel Young, was killed on the Gaza border on Saturday (October 7).

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Another ex-pupil, Jake Marlowe, is missing following the attack by Hamas. The school said it prays that he “and everyone else missing are swiftly and safely returned home”.

Daniel Aboudy, a friend of Mr Marlowe, told Sky News the community and those who knew him are “trying to show an immense amount of love and support and hope that he will return to us”.

Headteacher Dr David Moody said: “We are devastated at the news. We have reached out to the families of those affected this morning to pass on our condolences and our offer of support.

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“It would be wrong for us to speak on behalf of families at a time when they are seeking the space to grieve, but it goes without saying that we are heartbroken at what has happened.

“Nathanel is fondly remembered within the school and we think of him with nothing but love. Equally, we have seen reports that Jake Marlowe is missing and we all pray that he is found soon.”

In a statement posted on social media, the school wrote: “As a wider school community, the connections between us and the State of Israel are extensive and deep. Some of our families are Israeli-born; almost all have family and friends who live in the country.

“That is why the barbaric and atrocious acts of terrorism committed in Israel over the past couple of days have caused us all such pain and distress. We are, after all, am echad b’lev echad – one people with one heart.

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“For our school community, the tragedy unfolding in Israel had an added layer of distress. Nathanel Young, a 20-year old ex-JFS student who was serving in the Israel Defence Forces, was killed by Hamas terrorists on Shabbat on the Gaza border. We all feel his loss and send our love and condolences to his family.

“In addition, Jake Marlowe, another ex-JFS pupil, is also currently missing as a result of the terror attacks. We pray he and everyone else missing are swiftly and safely returned home.

“We pray that Israel and her citizens remain safe and free from further sorrow in the weeks, months and years to come.”

It has emerged that the JFS has said pupils worried about safety are not obliged to wear their blazers.

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In a letter to parents seen by the Times, the school wrote there will be no after-school detentions, to ensure everyone is able to access the school buses, and that “should students wish to not wear a blazer then I would understand that decision”.

More than 900 Israeli civilians and troops and nearly 700 people in Gaza have reportedly been killed since Hamas’ attack on Saturday morning.

Israel has retaliated with ongoing air strikes on Gaza, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing the bombardments “have only started”.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak visited the Finchley United Synagogue in north London on Monday evening, telling attendees he wanted to “stand with you in solidarity in Israel’s hour of need”.

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Thousands turned out for a Jewish community vigil outside Downing Street, the rally concluding with a rendition of the Israel national anthem Hatikvah.

A pro-Palestinian protest took place in Kensington near the Israeli embassy the same evening, at which three arrests were made. The Met Police added it has “further live arrest enquiries under way”.

In total, more than 10 British citizens are reportedly feared either dead or missing in the conflict.

LondonWorld has approached JFS for further comment.