An Irish girl, 8, believed to have been murdered by Hamas, is still alive and being held hostage in Gaza

In an interview with Israeli television, Emily Hand’s sister Natalie promised: “We love you, we’ll take you home.”

Emily is the daughter of Dubliner Thomas Hand and has dual Irish and Israeli citizenship.

Thomas broke down in an interview after the devastating Hamas attack on October 7 when he admitted he was glad his daughter was dead and not taken hostage.

Thomas Hand

But what is shocking now is the assumption that Emily is alive and being held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

The Hand family was informed by Israeli authorities five days ago that Emily was still alive, Channel 12 reports.

Natalie, Emily’s sister, addressed her sister on Channel 12 and told the trapped girl: “I want to tell you that we are doing everything we can to get you home. We know you’re being held hostage. We love you so much and miss you.”

Natalie said her family cried for Emily when they learned she had been killed.

“We were told she was murdered. We mourned,” she said.

“On October 31, they informed us that it was very likely that she had been kidnapped.”

The news that Emily is believed to be being held hostage was also published in the Times of Israel.

On October 12, Mr. Hand broke down on live television and said that in his despair he would have preferred to think about the death of his little girl rather than becoming a victim of Hamas.

For him, “death is a blessing” compared to the suffering in captivity, he said at the time.

Irish father Thomas Hand learns that his eight-year-old daughter was murdered by Hamas

Mr. Hand had told CNN how he waited in agony for two days after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 to find out the fate of his child.

“They said, ‘We found Emily. “She’s dead,” back then.

“She was either dead or in Gaza. And if you know what they are doing to the people of Gaza, it is worse than death,” he added.

“They wouldn’t have any food. They wouldn’t have any water. She found herself in a dark room filled with God knows how many people.

“And terrified every minute, every hour, every day and possibly for years to come…”

The Irish Independent has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.

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