There's more to it than the bookending. Hands are thematically important in NGE, something explicitly highlighted in EoE ("What is your hand for?") in the event it was missed. A lot of storytelling is done through hands, through repetitions and parallels.
A hand covered in blood. A hand covered in semen. A hand full of Adam. Stigmata. Hands full of vulva used to give and take life.
Shinji's hand opening and closing, sometimes consciously as he looks at his palm, other times unconsciously twitching at his side.
Toji greeting Shinji with the end of his fist. Eva-03's head being demolished at the end of Eva-01's.
The hands of a mother, wringing a towel. The hands of a mother, wringing the life from a child.
Misato reaching for Shinji's hand and being rebuffed. Kaworu taking Shinji's hand and being accepted.
Dr. Katsuragi's ravaged hand, reaching for the lever that will get his daughter to safety. Eva-02's (Kyoko's) ravaged hand, reaching toward the enemies that must be vanquished so Asuka can live.
There are many more examples. I sense that something deeper is going on, and though I currently lack the ability to articulate what it is I suspect it might be elegantly simple.