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22-year-old Irish-Israeli citizen Kim Damti confirmed dead after Hamas attack

A 22-year-old Irish-Israeli citizen has been confirmed dead after the Hamas attacks in Israel.

Kim Damti had been attending a music festival near the Gaza border on Saturday when the surprise attack by the Hamas militant group was carried out.

Irish President Michael D Higgins said he heard the news of Ms Damti’s death with the “greatest sadness”.

“The circumstances in which her life was taken, having travelled as she did to attend a music festival, are truly appalling,” he said.

“It is not only those of us who are parents, but all of those who feel that young people should be free to attend events with their peers in conditions of safety, who will find such circumstances where a young life is taken so appalling.

“Kim’s death once again reminds us what an outrageous breach of fundamental international law in conditions of conflict it is to target civilians in this way.

“May I send my deepest condolences to Kim’s family, friends and all those with whom she shared her life.”

Irish Premier Leo Varadkar said the death of Ms Damti was “senseless and barbaric”.

“As a nation we are united in mourning for Kim Damti,” he said.

“This vibrant young Irish-Israeli woman was struck down in her prime, with her adult life ahead of her.

“Her death, and the deaths of more than a thousand other citizens of Israel and from around the world, was senseless and barbaric.

“Kim gave happiness and joy to her family and those around her.

“As we learn of her death, we pause to think of her, her family in Israel and Ireland and of all those now grieving in countless other nations.”

Hamas militants stormed through a border fence on Saturday and killed hundreds of Israelis.

In response, Israeli bombardment demolished neighbourhoods in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The war has already claimed at least 2,300 lives on both sides.

Irish deputy-premier Micheal Martin confirmed Ms Damti’s death in a statement on Wednesday evening, and said she was a young woman “full of promise”.

“It is with immense sadness that I learnt this evening that Kim Damti’s death has been confirmed,” he said.

“When news reached us over the weekend that an Irish citizen was one of the many hundreds missing after the repugnant terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel, we hoped against hope that she would be found safely.

“The news that this hope has now been extinguished is devastating.

“Anyone looking at the photo of Kim in the media over the last few days will have been struck by the radiance and energy in her expression; a young 22-year-old woman with a whole life ahead of her, full of promise.”

The Tanaiste said he had spoken with Ms Damti’s family, and extended condolences to her family in Ireland and in Israel.

“For anyone to lose a child is devastating. To lose a child in such circumstances is indescribable,” he said.

“On my behalf and on behalf of the Government and people of Ireland, I convey our heartfelt condolences to Kim’s family in Ireland and in Israel.

“We are with them in their grief. I spoke with Kim’s family earlier this evening and expressed this to them.

“Our thoughts remain with all the families of those who have died, who are injured or who are missing in the wake of these terrible events.

“May her memory be a blessing.”

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu created a wartime Cabinet with political opponent Benny Gantz as the Israeli military appears increasingly likely to launch a ground offensive into Gaza.

Source: The Independent