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Irish Father Living in Israel Says Hamas Killing His 8-Year-Old Daughter is a 'Blessing' Compared to Her Being Held Hostage

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Source: CNN

Thomas Hand mourns the death of his daughter Emily, 8.

Oct. 12 2023, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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In an unimaginable situation for any person, let alone a parent, an Irish father living in Israel was relieved to hear that his 8-year-old daughter's body had been recovered because it was the "best news" he could have hoped for, has learned.

Thomas Hand spoke to CNN after he learned that his daughter Emily was among the hundreds of innocent civilians killed in the Hamas terrorist attacks over the weekend.

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Source: CNN

Emily Hand, 8, was killed in Israel over the weekend.

When Hand was informed that his daughter had been killed, his reaction was complex, mixed with devastation and relief.

"They just said, ‘We found Emily, she’s dead,’ and I went, ‘Yes,'" Hand told CNN reporter Clarissa Ward on Wednesday.

Hand explained that his daughter's death was a "blessing" due to the unimaginable horrors she would have faced if she was kidnapped and taken into Gaza as a Hamas hostage.

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Source: CNN

Thomas Hand, Emily's father, said her death is a 'blessing.'

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"I went ‘Yes,’ and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew. The best possibility that I was hoping for," the grieving father continued.

On Friday, the eve of the surprise attack, Emily went to a sleepover at a friend's house in Kibbutz Be’eri. The following morning, Hamas operatives raided the Kibbutz and massacred over 100 civilians. At the same time, Hamas captured Israeli civilians and tourists and brought them back to Gaza.

The thought of Emily being taken to Gaza was too much for her father to bear.

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Source: MEGA

Hamas operatives stormed Kibbutz Be'eri and killed around 100 civilians.

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"She was either dead or in Gaza, and if you know anything about what they do to people in Gaza, that is worse than death, that is worse than death," Hand explained. "The way they treat you, they have no food, they have no water."

"She’d be in a dark room with Christ who knows how many people and terrified every minute, hour, day, and possible years to come," the father said through tears. "So death was a blessing, an absolute blessing."

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Source: MEGA

Hamas has captured Israeli civilians and tourist and taken them back to Gaza.

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While Emily was at her friend's house, Hand recalled not being worried "until I heard the shots. And it was already too late."

The father explained that when he was unable to get in touch with his daughter, her friend, or her friend's mother, he had to run for his life — and for his daughter.

"I had to think of Emily. She already lost her mother, I couldn’t risk her losing her father too," Hand said.

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"If I had known … I could have maybe ran, got her, got her friend, got the mother, brought them back to my place," the father added. "But by the time I realized what was happening, it was already too late."

Hand said his daughter was the tallest in her class, a talented dancer, and singer. He was raising Emily as a single father after her mother passed away from cancer several years ago.

Hand came to Be'eri as a volunteer 30 years ago. While he initially planned to stay only a few months, the Kibbutz became home.



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