Kim Damti. Family handout

'I just want her back': Mother of missing Irish-Israeli woman appeals for information

22-year-old Kim Damti remains unaccounted for following the attacks by Hamas on Saturday.

THE MOTHER OF an Irish-Israeli woman who is missing after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented series of surprise attacks on Saturday has expressed fears for her daughter’s safety. 

22-year-old Kim Damti remains unaccounted for having been attending a music festival when the attack occurred. 

Her mother Jennifer has said the family last heard from Kim at around 6.30am on Saturday when the attack began. After telling her to find shelter, they have not heard from her since. 

Speaking to US outlet ABC News from her home in Tel Aviv, Jennifer described waiting to hear news about her daughter.

“You can’t sleep. All I can think about is where she is, if she’s suffering, if she’s still alive. I just want her back,” she said. 

“[There's] so many other mothers here today. I’m not the only one. Everybody is missing somebody.”

She said Kim did not realise that there were “seven or eight Toyota vans full of terrorists” at the music festival when the attack took place. 

“They just shot everywhere. They just shot them, slaughtered them like ducks, and that’s the reason I’m here, because I want the world to condemn this behaviour. I didn’t bring my children up to hate anybody.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been in touch with Kim’s family and is providing consular assistance. 

Around 500 targets were struck in Gaza by Israeli forces overnight following Hamas attacks on Israel that have so far killed over 700.

Speaking yesterday, Tánaiste and foreign affairs minister Micheál Martin confirmed that the Government was aware of Kim’s case and had been in touch with the family. 

“Could I say that as more information is revealed, I think the full horror of the crimes that were committed yesterday by Hamas are laid bare – hundreds and hundreds of innocent people slaughtered in the most savage of ways,” he said.

He said that people had been targeted in their homes in an “indiscriminate” way.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the attack launched by Hamas is “probably the worst attack that Israel has had to endure for 40 years now”.

“The government condemns it unreservedly, there can be no excuse for targeting women, children, taking children and women, civilians as hostage,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone could do anything other than condemn that and we do condemn it unreservedly.”

He also urged restraint by the Israeli authorities, adding that while the “free world is standing in solidarity with Israel”, an excessive response which results in unnecessary civilian deaths in Gaza could change that.  

The Department of Foreign Affairs is urging awny Irish citizen seeking to leave the region to contact their airline.

“We urge citizens to avoid all travel to Southern Israel, and exercise extreme caution in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”