Daughter, 8, Reported Dead Likely Alive and Hamas Gaza Hostage, Says Dad


  • A girl presumed killed in the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 is likely alive, her father says.
  • Thomas Hand previously said he was “relieved” the eight year old, was dead, rather than a Hamas hostage.
  • But it has now been suggested that she is could be one of more than 240 Hamas hostages in Gaza.

A father who expressed relief his daughter was dead because being held hostage by Hamas was “worse than death” has discovered the eight-year-old is likely alive and has been abducted to Gaza.

In the aftermath of the attack on Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel, Irish-Israeli Thomas Hand told CNN he had been told his daughter Emily was dead and that he was relieved to hear the news.

“I went ‘yes!’ I went ‘yes!’ and smiled,” he said while fighting back tears. “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.”

Hand said that now that he knew she was alive, the focus was on getting her home safely.

“Our mindset changed immediately. We realized that we had to shift our approach. The mourning has ended, and now we must do everything to bring her back home,” Hand told Israeli outlet Ynet.

The outlet noted that the reports of her death did not come from official sources and that she was officially listed as missing as her body was never recovered.

Hand said: “We were told that in the house where she was, no blood of hers was found anywhere, nor was any found nearby. In fact, no sign was discovered that suggests she is not alive, so they assume that she was kidnapped alive to Gaza and is there now.”

Hamas is believed to have kidnapped over 240 people and taken them to Gaza during the surprise attack that killed around 1,400 people in southern Israel.

Israel has retaliated with a ground invasion of Gaza and bombarding the enclave with an intense campaign of air strikes, which has killed over 10,000 people, per the health ministry.

Israeli officials have said they will not agree to a cease-fire until all hostages are released. So far, Hamas has released four hostages.


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