Emily Kornberg Hand perished in the abhorrent assault of Kibbutz Be’eri orchestrated by Hamas terrorists. Emily had previously confronted the arduous struggle of illness several years earlier.
During the nocturnal assault that claimed her life, she was an overnight guest at a friend’s residence. An undetermined number of individuals were left injured, and more than a hundred others were taken captive.
Who was Emily Kornberg?
Emily Kornberg was an 8-year-old girl who lost her life in an attack by Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Be’eri. She was the daughter of Thomas Hand, an Irish native, and Liat, who was born in Israel.
Emily, who was known for her passion for music and dancing, was recounted as a sociable and angelic child.
She would watch Beyoncé videos, whose dance movements she admired and aspired to imitate, and would frequently fill her home with her harmonious singing. Regarding her pivotal position in the kibbutz’s holiday dance routines, her father, Thomas, reflected on how her extraordinary talent illuminated the path for her contemporaries.
Thomas Hand’s heart-wrenching interview with CNN laid bare the unimaginable pain he and his family endured. Speaking through tears, Thomas shared his conflicted emotions upon receiving the devastating news of Emily’s demise.
“They just said, ‘We found Emily, she’s dead,’ and I went, ‘Yes’ and smiled, because that was the best news of the possibilities that I knew,” he recounted. “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… so death was a blessing.”
Parents of Emily Kornberg Speak
Emily Kornberg Hand, the 8-year-old daughter of Irish native Thomas Hand and Israeli-born Liat, was murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas terrorists on October 7.
Thomas’s heartbreaking interview with CNN, where he described being happy to know that Emily was found dead instead of held captive by Hamas, reverberated around the world.
“They just said, ‘We found Emily, she’s dead,’ and I went, ‘Yes’ and smiled, because that was the best news of the possibilities that I knew,” Thomas recounted tearfully. “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… so death was a blessing.”
In an interview with The Irish Times, Thomas — who moved to Israel more than 30 years ago — described his little girl.
“She was a little angel and she actually looked like an angel. She was very, very sociable and she loved music,” he said. “She would sing in the house all day long and she loved dancing. She would watch videos of Beyoncé; she was her favorite and would pick up the moves really quickly.”
Thomas said that Emily “was always chosen for the dance routines on the stage for the kibbutz for the holidays – always front and center, so if the other kids forgot the steps they could just look at Emily. She was exceptional.”