Eight-year-old presumed dead in Hamas attack is alive in Gaza

A month after the attack on southern Israel which claimed about 1,400 victims, family of Emily Hand from Kibbutz Be'eri informed she had been kidnapped to Gaza, and not killed as they had previously been told

Thomas Hand speaks with CNN about his daughter Emily
(Video: From X)

Almost a month after the brutal attack on southern Israeli communities that claimed about 1,400 victims, the family of 8-year-old Emily Hand from Kibbutz Be'eri was informed that Emily was not killed in the attack as previously believed but had been kidnapped to Gaza alive.
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In an interview with CNN last month, her father Thomas recounted how the day before the terrorists infiltrated the kibbutz, Emily was having a sleepover at a friend's house. He spent two days searching for her until he learned that his young daughter had been killed. He shared that there was a sense of relief in discovering that Emily had died rather than being kidnapped by the brutal terrorists who destroyed the kibbutz she so loved.
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אמילי הנד
אמילי הנד
Emily Hand
“I smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew... She was either dead or in Gaza and if you know anything about what they do to people in Gaza, that is worse than death. That is worse than death. The way they treat you. They have no food, they would have no water,” he said tearfully.
Over the weekend, IDF officers notified the family of an error in identification: Emily was not killed but abducted alive to Gaza.
The stunned family members, who had spent the recent weeks mourning and grieving her death, are working around the clock to secure her prompt return. They have reached out to Irish government officials, as Emily holds Irish citizenship.
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אמילי הנד נרצחה
אמילי הנד נרצחה
Emily and Thomas Hand
Emily's family was initially informed of her presumed death in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, likely based on incorrect information from unofficial channels. Since her body was not recovered, she was officially listed as missing, hence no funeral took place.
Her father, Thomas, spoke of a remarkable girl who loved to dance, sing, and play instruments. "She could do anything she set her mind to, and if she didn't succeed at first, she would keep trying until she did. She was a true leader; people were simply drawn to being around her."
Now, her family is holding onto hope that she is indeed alive and will be returned to Israel as soon as possible.
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