Israel asks Taylor Swift to help find teen missing since Hamas attacks

Israel’s Foreign Ministry urged the star to use her powerful social media reach to help find Roni Eshel – a teenage soldier described as a ‘huge Swiftie’

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 07 November 2023 13:57 GMT
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Netanyahu rules out ceasefire until Hamas frees Israeli hostages

The Israeli government has asked Taylor Swift to help find a teenage soldier who has been missing since 7 October, when Hamas terrorists stormed into Israel, killing more than 1,400 people and taking hostages across the Gaza border.

In a post shared on X on Sunday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry urged the pop star to use her powerful social media reach to try to locate Roni Eshel, who was described as a “huge Swiftie”.

The 19-year-old was doing her mandatory military service at the time of the attack on 7 October, the government said.

“Putting this message out into the universe with the hope that it reaches @taylorswift13,” read the post.

“Roni (19) Eshel who is a huge Swiftie has been missing since the October 7th Massacre. It would mean the world to Roni’s family if Taylor would use her platform to call for Roni’s return.”

“While Swifties all around the world are watching the Eras film and enjoying 1989TV, Roni Eshel, a 19 year old Swiftie, is still MISSING,” an accompanying post read.

“The last time her family heard from her was the morning of October 7th.”

The Foreign Ministry also shared a picture of the missing teenager, adding that “hundreds of Swifties” had “come together” to create friendship bracelets with Roni’s name on – and were wearing them to the singer’s Era’s tour screenings in Israel.

“Fearlessly, hundreds of Swifties are coming together to raise awareness about Roni by making friendship bracelets with her name, hoping for her to COME BACK, BE HERE and for all of the hostages to return home,” the ministry added, alongside a photo of the yellow bracelets.

Israel has asked Taylor Swift to help in locating a teenage soldier who has been missing since 7 October

“@taylorswift13, please please use your platform with millions of followers to help us find Roni and bring her home.”

Swift, who has more than 94 million followers on X, is yet to respond to the plea.

While she has used her profile in the past to raise awareness of political issues, the singer has not yet addressed the Israel-Hamas war on her X account.

She has been facing pressure to speak out after other celebrities, including Amy Schumer and Gigi Hadid, used their platforms to call for the release of hostages from Gaza and to condemn Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

The pop star’s fans have also rallied around a #SwiftiesForPalestine hashtag on X.

Since the Hamas attacks last month, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in retaliatory airstrikes launched by Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Human rights organisations have called for an urgent ceasefire, with a United Nations report finding that 70 percent of those killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza were women and children – despite claims by the IDF that the airstrikes are targeting Hamas militants.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far resisted calls for a ceasefire as well as pressure from the US for a humanitarian pause, saying there will be no temporary ceasefire until all hostages are released.

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