A devastated father said he welcomed the news that his eight-year-old daughter was killed by Hamas terrorists rather than taken hostage during the barbaric attack on Be’eri Kibbutz.
Thomas Hand endured an excruciating two-day wait for news about his daughter Emily after Palestinian terrorists stormed their kibbutz around 7 a.m. Saturday, massacring at least 100 people.
Hand said the kibbutz was under fire for about 12 hours that day while he did not know the whereabouts or fate of his child after he fell asleep in a neighbor’s house – something she rarely did.
In a heartbreaking interview with CNN, Hand broke down in tears as he recounted the moment he was finally told his daughter’s body had been found – and said his reaction was relief that she hadn’t been kidnapped .
“They said, ‘We found Emily. She’s dead,” and I just answered, “Yes!” “I said ‘Yes’ and smiled because that’s the best news of the possibilities I knew,” Hand said, his voice shaking.
Devastated father Thomas Hand tearfully recalls finding out his eight-year-old daughter had been killed by Hamas terrorists
Eight-year-old Emily Hand was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be’eri on Saturday. Her father said he was relieved when he learned his daughter was dead and not a prisoner of the Palestinian terrorists who tortured her in Gaza
“She doesn’t do it very often, but unfortunately that night, that particular night – Friday night – she fell asleep at her friend’s house,” Hand said.
The next morning the kibbutz was attacked.
Hand described how he had felt during the siege: “I think the army will be here soon. ‘Just wait a little longer and longer and longer.’
When Hand was later informed of his daughter’s murder, he said, “I just said yes!”
“That was the best news of the possibilities I knew of…” he trailed off through tears.
“She was either dead or in Gaza. And if you know anything about what they’re doing to the people of Gaza, that’s worse than death,” he said.
“They wouldn’t have any food. They wouldn’t have any water. She found herself in a dark room filled with God knows how many people. And fear every minute, every hour, every day and possibly the years to come. So death was a blessing. An absolute blessing.’
In addition to the estimated 1,200 Israelis slaughtered by Hamas over the weekend, the Palestinian terrorists kidnapped scores of Israelis and about 20 Americans, whose condition and whereabouts are unknown.
Hamas agents committed unimaginable acts of violence against innocent Israelis, including raping and dragging the bodies of women and girls through the streets, burning families alive, and reportedly beheading babies.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces brought reporters, including a team from Fox News, to Be’eri, just five kilometers from the Gaza border.
Until Saturday, the kibbutz was known as an artists’ and farmers’ community with 1,200 residents.
Pictured: Emily Hand. The eight-year-old girl spent the night at a friend’s house on Friday, said her father Thomas. While the kibbutz was under siege for twelve hours, he knew neither the fate nor the whereabouts of his little girl
An IDF soldier walks past body bags containing over 20 dead Hamas fighters with the word “terrorist” written on them in Hebrew in a main field on Kibbutz Be’eri, where dozens of civilians were killed days earlier
A rifle lies on the body of a dead Hamas terrorist in nearby K’far Aza, which was also stormed by Palestinian terrorists on Saturday
An Israeli soldier walks past a house destroyed by Hamas militants in Kibbutz Be’eri, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023
A destroyed house in Kibbutz Be’eri, where terrorist activity took place for twelve hours before IDF soldiers arrived to retake the area
The site was only declared safe for outsiders on Tuesday after all the bodies of the Israeli victims were removed. However, the burned and mutilated bodies of Hamas fighters still lay in heaps on the edge of the kibbutz.
According to several reporters, the smell of blood and death was sickening.
Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst took viewers inside one of the Bullet Riddles houses on the property.
“You can see the floors are stained with blood,” he said.
“It was Saturday morning, around 7am, when militants stormed this village. You can see the weapons they brought with them, extra ammunition, bullet holes in the wall of the house and knives on the floor.”
“It’s completely destroyed.” “It looks like some of the buildings were hit with RPGs and explosives.”
He said he came across rooms “covered in blood” where residents had been murdered in their beds. According to the IDF, some of the victims were beheaded.
Yingst tweeted photos of the destroyed houses in the kibbutz
The Fox News reporter showed bloodstained floors and bullet-riddled houses
A house in ruins after an attack by Hamas militants on this kibbutz days earlier killed dozens of civilians near the Gaza border on Tuesday
Cars and a stroller left at the scene of a rocket attack from Gaza over the weekend are pictured on a main street near the entrance to Israel’s Kibbutz Kfar Aza
‘Worse than ISIS’: Photo of a bloody child’s bed posted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
A child’s seat and a child’s dress are seen covered in blood after a Hamas attack
Gunshots and bloodstains can be seen on a door and walls of a house where civilians were killed days earlier in a Hamas attack on this kibbutz near the Gaza border on Tuesday
A soldier is overcome with emotion as he searches for bodies on the kibbutz
Yingst described the scene as “hell on earth.” He said it was the most terrifying site he had visited in his career as a reporter around the world.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas, making clear that Gaza would feel the effects of Israel’s retaliation for decades to come.
This week, Israeli airstrikes destroyed entire neighborhoods and forced people to flee to safety. The war is only expected to escalate from here.
Netanyahu has promised that his military will ensure the death of every Hamas agent.