A young Irish girl who was feared dead in the Hamas attacks of October 7 reportedly could be still alive and being held hostage.
Emily Hand, eight, was feared dead after the assault on Kibbutz Be’eri.
Hamas killed more than 120 people in the kibbutz, with dozens more missing following the violence.
The girl’s father, Thomas Hand – who is originally from Dublin, gave an emotional media interview after being informed she had likely been murdered in the attack.
Israeli media reported on Sunday that the family has been informed Emily may be alive and being held hostage in Gaza.
The Israeli Defence Forces told them of this possibility on October 31, the reports said.
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The Times of Israel reported that Emily’s sister Natalie had made an TV appeal in the country appealing for her return.
Natalie Hand reportedly told Channel 12 in Israel the family was initially informed that Emily had been murdered.
“We were in mourning,” she said.
She added: “On October 31, they told us that it was highly likely that she had been abducted.”
In a direct message to her sister, Natalie Hand continued: “I want to tell you that we are doing everything to get you home.
“We know you are being held hostage. We love you so much and miss you.”
In a statement, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case of Emily Hand and is providing consular assistance to her family.
“We will not be commenting further at this time.”
In his original interview dad Thomas said it was a “blessing” she died rather than be taken hostage.
Hamas murdered more than 120 of Be’eri’s residents, including children and kidnapped others, leaving behind a scene of unimaginable devastation.
Thomas told how the kibbutz was pinned down under gunfire for around 12 hours after Emily had gone to a sleepover at a neighbour’s house.
The Irish dad has been in Israel for the past 30 years, based there with his wife and Emily’s mum, who sadly died of cancer a few years ago.
The tearful father said his little girl was having a “girly night” with a pal when the kibbutz was overrun by armed terrorists.
He said: “Until I heard the shots, and it was already too late, if I had known…
“I could have maybe ran, got her, got her friend, got the mother, brought them back to my place.
“But by the time I realised what was happening, it was already too late.
“I had to think of Emily. She already lost her mother, I couldn’t risk her losing her father too.”
The agonised father was rescued after two days of waiting for answers on the whereabouts and fate of his daughter, who he said was a talented dancer, singer and “fun, bright girl”.
The reports that Emily could still be alive come just days after Israel shared chilling videos of Hamas terrorists attacking Israeli men, women and children during their brutal ambush a month ago.
Israeli embassies across the world have screened the gut-wrenching clips for journalists – including The Sun – showing depraved acts of merciless violence.
Terrorists in battle fatigues were then seen loitering at the security gates of the Kibbutz Be’eri – waiting for them to open as some residents approached in a car – then shooting the driver and his passenger dead.
Once they were inside, Hamas monsters strolled across neat lawns picking off their prey.
One bandana-clad attacked shot dead an elderly man in his kitchen, who cried out in terror and pain as he slumped to the floor.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war reached 9,700, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
In the occupied West Bank, more than 140 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the October 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, and 242 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the terror group.
Roughly 1,100 people have left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing since Wednesday under an apparent agreement among the United States, Egypt, Israel and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas.