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Dad living in Israel recounts relief learning daughter died: Being kidnapped by Hamas is ‘worse than death’

An Irish father living in Israel said he was relieved when he heard the news of his 8-year-old daughter’s death at the hands of Hamas, insisting it was a “blessing” compared to the alternative of her being held captive and savagely tortured by the terrorists.

Thomas Hand recounted the moment that he learned the news of his daughter Emily’s death in an interview on CNN on Wednesday.

“They just said, we found Emily, she’s dead, and I went ‘yes,’” he said.

“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,” he said.

Hand added that his daughter’s death was better than any other situation that could have happened.

“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,” the grieving father said. “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,” he cried out. “So death was a blessing, an absolute blessing.”

Hand said his daughter was at a sleepover with a friend Friday night and into Saturday, when terrorists snuck into Kibbutz Be’eri and slaughtered more than 100 people.

He said he was not worried when the sirens went off, “until I heard the shots. And it was already too late.”

Hand said he was unable to get in touch with his daughter, her friend, or her friend’s mother.

Fearing for his life, he ran.

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

Hand had come to Be’eri 30 years ago as a volunteer, planning to stay for just a few months — but he never left.

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

After his wife, Emily’s mother, died of cancer a few years ago, he and Emily were living on their own.

He described his daughter as the tallest in her class, and a talented dancer and singer.

“If I had known … I could have maybe ran, got her, got her friend, got the mother, brought them back to my place,” he said.

“But by the time I realized what was happening, it was already too late.”

The kibbutz on the Gaza border was one of the first sites overrun by Hamas terrorists during Saturday’s attack at dawn.

Survivors told how the armed terrorists went door to door to kill residents, and would burn down any houses they weren’t able to get inside.

But it was just one of the many kibbutzim attacked by Hamas in recent days, including Kfar Aza — where the terrorists beheaded children and babies.

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