Kim Damti, the 22-year-old Irish-Israeli woman who was missing after the Hamas attack in Israel on Saturday, October 3, has been confirmed dead.
"With heartfelt sorrow, the Cooper family announce the death of their beloved niece, Kim Damti," Pat Cooper, Kim's aunt, said in a statement to RTÉ News on Wednesday, October 11.
"We thank all those who have supported us with love and encouragement over the past five days.
"We respectfully request the media to allow us to grieve in the privacy of our family."
Kim’s sister, who had been posting appeals online in hopes of locating her sister, also confirmed the death in a social media post, a translated version of which reads: “With great sorrow and gloomy grief I announce the killing of our angel, our flower, Kim, my blood, who was murdered by the cursed terrorists."
Kim's sister said a funeral will take place on Thursday at the cemetery in Gedera in the central part of Israel.
Kim Damti was last seen on Saturday, October 7 at a music festival in Re'im, in the south of Israel, when Hamas militants began their attack. The Associated Press, citing a spokesperson for Israel's rescue service ZAKA, said at least 260 people were killed at the festival.
Jennifer Damti, Kim's mother and a native of Co Laois, told ABC News on Monday that Kim phoned her from the festival and asked, "Mummy, what should I do?"
Jennifer said her son took the phone and told Kim to find shelter. The family didn't hear from Kim again.
Today I met Jennifer. Her 22yr old daughter Kim called her in a panic from the desert party. Rockets firing overhead. She told her to hide. Since then, silenceOctober 8, 2023
"Kim didn’t realize that there was seven or eight Toyota vans full of terrorists,” Jennifer told ABC News.
"They just shot everywhere. They just shot them, and slaughtered them like ducks.
"That's the reason I'm here. Because I want the world to condemn this behavior. I didn't bring my children up to hate anybody."
Kim had visited Ireland this past summer, where her Irish relatives now mourn her passing.
On Wednesday evening, Ireland's leading politicians offered their condolences.
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said he learned of Damti's death "with immense sadness" and that the news was "devastating."
Martin said pictures of the 22-year-old showed a "woman with a whole life ahead of her, full of promise."
He added: “For anyone to lose a child is devastating. To lose a child in such circumstances is indescribable."
The Tanaiste said he spoke with the family after the news was confirmed and offered his condolences on behalf of the Irish government and the people of Ireland.
“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," he said, adding, “May her memory be a blessing."
A Statement: pic.twitter.com/5Vjsro2OBx— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) October 11, 2023
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland is united in its mourning of Damti, and that "Her death & the deaths of more than a thousand other citizens of Israel & 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.— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) October 11, 2023
Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland, said in a statement that he learned of Kim's death with "great sadness."
He added: "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."
Mary Lou McDonald, the President of Sinn Féin, offered her thoughts and prayers to the Damti family and said the death is "a trauma that should not be inflicted on any family."
Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of Kim Damti as they endure the heartbreak of the loss of her young precious life. A trauma that should not be inflicted on any family. Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dílis.— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) October 11, 2023
Claire Cronin, the US Ambassador to Ireland, said she was "devastated" to learn of Kim's death and offered her condolences to the family.
I was devastated to learn about Kim Damti’s tragic death as a result of Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel. I offer my deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. https://t.co/JqPcF9SYtf— Ambassador Claire Cronin (@USAmbIreland) October 11, 2023