© ShahBlogger. Thomas Hand, the daddy of Irish-Israeli Emily Hand, 8, who was introduced lifeless following the October 7 assault on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, then later confirmed as one of many hostages held within the Gaza Strip, speaks to ShahBlogger from his ho


By Eli Berlzon

BY THE DEAD SEA, Israel (ShahBlogger) – Tom Hand has gone from hoping his daughter Emily had died rapidly after she went lacking throughout the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas gunmen in southern Israel to agonized ideas of her spending her ninth birthday as a hostage in a tunnel in Gaza.

Emily had been on a sleepover at a good friend’s home in Be’eri, considered one of a hoop of kibbutzes across the Gaza Strip focused by Hamas in an assault that started in early morning and ended hours later with 1,400 folks killed and about 240 taken hostage by Israel’s rely within the deadliest day of its 75-year-old historical past.

“Unofficial reviews got here in that she was discovered lifeless within the kibbutz,” mentioned Hand, who’s now dwelling in a lodge on the Lifeless Sea with others evacuated from Be’eri. “I used to be relieved. I used to be relieved that she was lifeless and it was throughout, it could have been fairly fast.”

Greater than 100 folks had been killed in Be’eri over greater than 24 hours. Many had been shot with their households or discovered lifeless with their palms certain. Rescue staff mentioned some had been burned alive. He had been at house and the gunmen by no means reached his home.

“You attempt to think about the, one of the best, you realize. You hope that it was fast,” Hand mentioned. “Loopy thought, for a mum or dad to say however, yeah, it was a aid pondering that she wasn’t in Gaza.”

A 64-year-old Irish immigrant who got here to Be’eri in 1992 as a 32-year-old volunteer, Hand labored as a printer within the kibbutz, the place he met Emily’s mom Liat.

Liat died when Emily was simply 2-1/2 years outdated however the household had remained within the kibbutz the place Hand’s first spouse Narkis additionally lived. She was killed on Oct. 7.

For weeks, Hand believed that Emily had additionally died within the assault earlier than he was advised by the military that her physique had not been discovered. Then he knew she had been kidnapped and was most likely being held in a community of tunnels constructed by Hamas.

“So now I do know she is in Gaza and she or he’s alive. She’s going to be 9 within the tunnels,” he mentioned. “She will not even know it is her birthday. She’ll do not know of night time or day or time.”

“There will be no birthday celebration, no birthday cake, no pals round. However you realize, yeah. Now we hope, now we pray.”


Because the Oct. 7 assault, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in a marketing campaign of bombardment that Gaza authorities say has killed greater than 11,000 folks and launched a floor operation to destroy Hamas. The federal government and navy have vowed to deliver as many hostages again as doable.

Now that Hand has realized that Emily was alive, he mentioned he had been pressured into a whole psychological shift to suppose: “OK, we will get her again, we will get her again. We will get all of them again.”

He mentioned Emily was a fan of the American singer Beyonce and he targeted on staying robust sufficient to deliver her house and pondering of the way to deliver her enjoyment.

“I am going to be certain that I am going to get her to the following Beyonce live performance. Carry her to Disney World, I am going to spend all my cash, each penny I’ve bought to provide her enjoyable to make up for all the things that she’s misplaced and all the things she’s going by means of,” he mentioned, preventing tears. “I’ll give her the world.”

“We’re all ready for her,” he mentioned. “We all know we will get you again. Be robust daily and wait, we’re coming to get you. We’re coming to get you house. We will deliver you house.”

#Believed #lifeless #alive #Gaza

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