Back from the Dead: 8-year-old girl feared dead is alive – In Gaza

8-year-old Irish-Israeli girl thought to have been murdered by terrorists was apparently abducted and may actually be alive in Gaza. 

By World Israel News Staff

Emily Hand, an 8-year-old Irish-Israeli girl who was thought to have been murdered by Hamas terrorists a month ago – one of some 130 initial casualties in Kibbutz Be’eri – is now believed to be alive somewhere in the Gaza Strip.

Her father, Thomas Hand, a non-Jewish native of Ireland and a widower since his Israeli-born wife, Liat, died several years ago from cancer, announced during a television interview days after the Hamas invasion that he was relieved that Emily was among those who were killed on October 7th, rather than among the captives in Gaza.

In an interview with CNN, Thomas Hand, a resident of Israel for 30 years, recounted, “They just said, ‘We found Emily, she’s dead,’ and I went, ‘Yes’, and smiled because that was the best of the possibilities that I knew.”

“She was either dead or in Gaza and if you know anything about what they do in Gaza, that is worse than death…so death was a blessing,” the father recounted tearfully.

Now, however, the girl’s father, her sister Natalie, and the rest of their family and friends have gone from mourning her death to making an active appeal that she and the rest of the hostages in Gaza be returned safely.

Emily was not at home with her father and sister when the terrorists invaded kibbutz Be’eri on October 7th, but was staying at a friend’s house. Emily’s friend and her mother are also believed to be among the hostages in Gaza.

Natalie, during an interview with Channel 12, announced that her sister was believed to have been abducted and sent a direct message to Emily; “I want to tell you that we are doing everything to get you home. We know you are being held hostage. We love you so much and miss you.”

The Hand family is appealing to the Irish government to take an active role in assisting with the recovery of Emily. Natalie indicated that although Irish authorities promised to make an effort, they acknowledged that their capacity is limited.