A moving video shows the moment nine-year-old Irish girl Emily Hand was reunited with her father after being held hostage by Hamas terrorists for 50 days. Emily was kidnapped during the Hamas attack on October 7. She was among 20 other hostages who were released by Hamas on Saturday night, November 25.
A video now viral on social media shows Emily running into the hands of her father, Thomas Hand. In the same video, Hila Rotem, another girl who was released, is seen hugging her uncle.
Emily was kidnapped while visiting Hila’s home at Kibbutz Be’eri. It was initially believed that Emily had been murdered. Before Emily’s release, Thomas told The Mirror: “We’ve been waiting too long for this moment. “Every day has been a long, painful nightmare… my Emily finally comes home, broken but in one piece.”
“Emily is back with us! We cannot find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days,” her family said in a statement to CBS News after her release.
“We are delighted to hug Emily again, but at the same time we remember Raya Rotem and all the hostages who have not yet returned,” the statement added. “We will persist in doing everything in our power to bring them home.”
“We want to express our gratitude to everyone who helped and supported us over the last 50 days until Emily’s return. “We appreciate the unwavering support as we continue our efforts for everyone’s safe return,” the statement said.
Raya Rotem, mentioned by Emily’s family, is Hila’s mother. The mother-daughter duo were captured by Hamas terrorists on October 7 in the safe room of their home. Raya, 54, wrote to her brother at 12:05 pm telling her that she and her 13-year-old daughter were being kidnapped and taken to Gaza.
It was not until October 29 that the two were confirmed as Hamas hostages. However, although Hila was released on November 25 following a temporary ceasefire agreement brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel, Raya remains hostage, to the horror of her family.