Kim Damti, an Irish-Israeli citizen, is missing after Hamas attacked the music festival she had attended.
Supernova Music Festival, situated two miles from the Gaza border, fell under attack around dawn on Saturday morning. Rockets were fired at the festival site as Hamas militants stormed the grounds and opened fire on revellers.
Ms Damti’s mother, Jennifer, originally from Portlaoise, told ABC News that she last spoke to her daughter as she was fleeing the festival towards a car.
“You can’t sleep. All I can think about is where she is. If she’s suffering, is she’s still alive. I just want her back.
“There are so many other mothers here today. I am not the only one. Everybody is missing somebody,” Jennifer Damti told ABC News.
“Kim didn’t realise there were seven or eight Toyota vans full of terrorists and they just shot everywhere.
“They just shot them and 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,” she added.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Irish government is aware of the case and is offering assistance.
“We don’t have any definite detail beyond that, but certainly [we’re] aware of it and willing to offer any consular assistance we can to any Irish citizens or any dual Irish citizens that are caught up in these terrible attacks,” he said.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said:
“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.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is in touch with Ms Damti’s family but that it does not “comment on the detail of individual cases.”
The Taoiseach said that the attack is “probably the worst attack Israel has had to endure for 40 years now.” However, he called on Israel to show restraint in its retaliation.
“The Government condemns it unreservedly, there can be no excuse for targeting women, children, taking children and women, civilians as hostage,” Varadkar said.
“I don’t think anyone could do anything other than condemn that and we do condemn it unreservedly. I would also urge restraint, though, by the Israeli authorities. There will be retaliation for this, I’m sure, but for the first time, I think in a very long time, Israel is united and the free world is standing in solidarity with Israel.
“But that could change, I think, if the response from Israel is excessive and results in unnecessary civilian deaths in Gaza, so very much that is part of our message too.”
Israeli authorities have reported that at least 260 people were killed in the festival attack with more taken hostage.
Across the weekend, more than 700 people were killed in Israel by Hamas attacks. Over 400 Palestinians are also reported to have been killed in Gaza by Israeli Defence Forces in retaliation.
Israel has now formally declared war on Hamas in response to this unprecedented escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict which has raged since the mid-20th century.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs database, 6,269 Palestinians and 293 Israelis were killed in the conflict between January 2008 and March 2023.