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Devastated Irishman says he was grateful to learn his daughter had been killed by Hamas rather than taken hostage: 'Death was a blessing'

  Hamas terrorists have taken as many as 150 captives into Gaza following their savage attacks on Israel. Thomas Hand's daughter is not ...

 Hamas terrorists have taken as many as 150 captives into Gaza following their savage attacks on Israel. Thomas Hand's daughter is not among them. Rather, she is among the over 1,200 Israelis murdered in recent days.

Upon learning that his little girl may ultimately have been spared the inhumanities captives often suffer at the hands of Hamas, the devastated Irishman reportedly rejoiced, later telling CNN, "Death was a blessing." 

Hundreds of hostages facing unimaginable horrors

The Israel Defense Forces indicated Thursday that more than 95 families have been notified that their loved ones were taken hostage.

The New York Times noted that most of those Hamas has taken hostage were seized from their homes along Israel's border with Gaza. Among them are infants, children, people with disabilities, and geriatrics. Many are believed to have been stowed away by Hamas in various tunnels beneath Gaza.

Some Israelis have seen footage of their abducted family members circulated online. 

Yoni Asher told the Times he saw a video online of his wife, Doron Asher Katz, in the back of a pickup truck surrounded by Islamist terrorists.

"I can't sleep — I'm living outside my own body," said Asher, noting that his 5- and 3-year-old daughters were with his wife when she was taken. 

Writing in Newsweek, Asher said, "The captors need to release them as soon as they can. It's a critical window of time. There's not much time for little babies in captivity. Adults can hold on a few days. But not them."

Another couple saw their two children, including a 9-month-old, among the hostages in another video.

According to the Times of London, the terrorists are divided on what to do with the abducted women and children. Some allegedly are eager to get rid of them, recognizing that the videos of their beaten and bloody victims have unified support against them even in parts of the Arab world and have further legitimized the ballistic fury of the Israeli military.

Other factions want to keep the victims alive and use them as bargaining chips for prisoner exchanges.

"The idea of a prisoner swap now seems very distant," said Patrick Kingsley, the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times.

Monday night, Hamas threatened to butcher a civilian hostage every time an Israeli airstrike hit Gazans "in their homes without warning."

Extra to executions, there have been multiple reports of Hamas terrorists sexually abusing their victims.

One survivor of the massacre at the Supernova music festival told the Tablet, "Women have been raped at the area of the rave next to their friends' bodies, dead bodies."

Several of the apparent rape victims were reportedly later executed, while others were taken to Gaza, where they were paraded through the city's streets with bloodied pelvic regions.

A 2022 U.N. report detailed various accounts of how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have subject prisoners to various tortures in the past, including systematic abuses of a sexual nature.

A father's grief and unexpected solace

Unlike Asher and other family members whose loved ones were taken by Hamas, Thomas Hand is now certain of his 8-year-old daughter's fate.

Hand moved to the Be'eri kibbutz as a volunteer from Ireland 30 years ago and has lived there ever since. Although his wife recently died of cancer, he has not been alone thanks to his daughter, Emily, reported CNN.

Hand's daughter, Emily, went to a neighbor's house in the Be'eri Kibbutz for a sleepover Friday for "a girly night," according the grieving father.

The next morning around 7 a.m., terrorists stormed the kibbutz.

"Until I heard the shots. And it was already too late. If I had known … I could have maybe ran, got her, got her friend, got the mother, brought them back to my place. But by the time I realized what was happening, it was already too late," said Hand, noting the kibbutz had then been overrun by terrorists.

Hours later, Hand and other survivors were evacuated by the military to a hotel on the Dead Sea. Two days later he learned that Emily was among the 120 who had been massacred.

"They just said, 'We found Emily. She's dead,' and I went, 'Yes!' I went, 'yes!' and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew," Hand told CNN. "That was the best possibility that I was hoping for. 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," continued the grief-stricken father. "She'd be in a dark room filled with Christ knows how many people and terrified every minute, hour, day, and possibly years to come. So death was a blessing, an absolute blessing."

"In this crazy world, here is me hoping my daughter is dead," Hand later added.

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