In his desperation, Emily’s father Thomas Hand (63) often turned to the public to draw attention to the fate of his young daughter Emily and, if possible, to persuade the Hamas hostage-takers to give up. Are. But all this was of no use. The girl has been held by brutal Islamists since October 7 after Hamas attacked her Kibbutz Biri. Emily, who lost her mother to cancer when she was two and a half years old, was staying with friends when she was taken.
A little later, the father received tragic news: It was said that Emily was among the many victims of the attack. The girl’s body was found. Sadness was also mixed with consolation: “I felt relieved somehow because at that time I had preferred her to be held hostage,” said the father.
But then the turning point: the Israeli army informs Thomas Hand that Emily’s body has not been found and that her DNA could not be detected in the blood of several of the dead and the house from which she disappeared. Authorities have since assumed that the girl is one of the hostages, being held in a Hamas basement somewhere in the Gaza Strip.
The little girl who loves dancing, volleyball and playing the piano is celebrating her 9th birthday today: “She might not even know it. He might not know what day it is. Can you imagine Emily’s fear?” Thomas Hand asked a reporter tearfully in a Zoom interview.
The girl celebrated her 8th birthday in her kibbutz. A circus party was held in his honor with jugglers, acrobats and stilt walkers. There can be no party for Emily today.
Hamas Islamists attacked Israel on 7 October, massacring a music festival and several kibbutzes. Initially, 1,400 Israelis were reported killed, but the Jerusalem government later corrected this figure to 1,200. During their attacks, the militants took a number of hostages, most of whom are still believed to be held by Hamas. The numbers changed here too. Initially there was talk of kidnapping of 199 Israelis, later 244. The latest official figures are that there were 239 Hamas prisoners there.
Which includes 32 children – like little Emily.