Emily Hand, the 8-year-old Irish-Israeli girl believed to have been killed when Hamas attacked Israel last month, may still be alive.
Hand was visiting Kibbutz Be’eri on Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists crossed into southern Israel leaving at least 100 people dead and 70 missing. According to Irish media outlet RTE, DNA testing indicated Hand wasn’t among the murdered. Her family was reportedly told last week there’s a “high possibility” she’s being held hostage in Gaza. The Irish embassy also believes that’s the case.
Emily Hand’s father told CNN after the raid that his daughter’s death was the best case scenario.
“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,” Tom Hand said. “The way they treat you, they’d have no food, they’d have no water, she’d be in a dark room filled with Christ knows how many people, and terrified every minute, hour, day and possibly years to comes. So death was a blessing. An absolute blessing.”
Emily’s sister Natalie Hand told Israeli TV she wants her sibling to know they’re doing everything possible to bring her home.
Hamas is believed to be holding more than 240 hostages taken from Israel during its surprise invasion that killed 1,400. Israel responded with a massive bombing campaign that Gaza’s Health Ministry claims has killed 10,000 Palestinians. Israeli Defense Forces surrounded Gaza City, where intense ground fighting is expected to soon happen.