Miracles happen even in war Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, 9, among hostages released by Hamas

The Telegraph (partially edited by goodnewsdaily)

Seventeen hostages held by Hamas for seven weeks were released on Saturday. Among them was Emily Hand, a 9 year old Irish-Israeli girl. Emily was initially thought not to have survived the October 7th terrorist attack in Israel but it was nothing short of a miracle by her Father after he caught a first glimpse of her. It was in fact a case of mistaken identity by forensics experts at the Kibbutz Be’eri.

Thomas Hand, had restlessly campaigned for her safe return after learning she was alive some days ago.

A timid-looking Emily was recorded running into the open arms of her father. Thomas held his daughter tightly, visibly overcome with emotion upon the reunion. Israeli soldiers standing nearby can be seen smiling. Anyone who has children can imagine the emotion felt to have a child back that was thought to have been lost.

Other survivors of the massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri were among the 13 Israelis and four Thai hostages who arrived back in Israel in Red Cross vehicles on Saturday night.

“We have been waiting for far too long for this moment,” Mr Hand told the Sunday Mirror.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described the news of her return as a “day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family”.


“An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and our country breathes a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered,” he said.

“A little girl was snatched from her home and held captive for almost seven weeks. She spent her ninth birthday as a hostage. We hope she will soon recover from the traumatic experience in the loving embrace of her family.”

Residents of Kibbutz Be’eri watched the exchange on television from a hotel where they have been housed since Oct 7, and were shown cheering as they recognized their neighbors.

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