Father of kidnapped girl Emily Hand snatched by Hamas terrorists and held hostage during terrifying 50-day ordeal reveals his daughter has ‘lost a lot of weight’ after she is finally reunited with her family
The father of Hamas hostage Emily Hand said his nine-year-old daughter “lost a lot of weight” after finally being reunited with her family on Saturday.
Footage shows 63-year-old Thomas Hand speaking of his hope that Emily – who spent her ninth birthday in Gaza’s terror tunnels – will recover physically and mentally from the torment of 50 days in captivity.
Emily’s father told me The sun: ‘We got Emily back from the hands of the Gazan terrorists.
“She has lost a lot of weight from her face and body, but overall she is doing better than we expected.”
He added: “We are still fighting… because they promised they wouldn’t release children without mothers, but they didn’t (keep that promise).”
Mr Hand is in a hospital with his daughter, who is being cared for after her release among 13 innocents from the Gaza Strip last week.
Emily was snatched from her bed by Hamas terrorists during a sleepover at her friend’s home during the terror group’s attack on Israel on October 7.
Thomas Hand, father of Hamas hostage Emily Hand, said his nine-year-old daughter has “lost a lot of weight” after finally being reunited with her family on Saturday
Footage shows Mr Hand speaking of his hope that Emily – who spent her ninth birthday in Gaza’s terror tunnels – will recover physically and mentally from the torment of 50 days in captivity.
Emily is reunited with her father, while Hila Rotem (second from left), whose mother is still held hostage, reunites with a family member
Footage also shows the little girl being cuddled and comforted by her half-sister Natali as they are reunited
On Saturday, she was finally reunited with her father in an Israeli hospital after her release.
Footage shared last week shows Emily running into her father’s arms before they share an emotional embrace.
Mr Hand later revealed she was ‘broken’ after her ordeal, but still whole. He also said he had been too scared to hug her tightly, but promised to throw her the “biggest birthday party ever.”
Speaking to The Mirror ahead of his daughter’s release, Mr Hand said: ‘We have waited far too long for this moment. Every day has been a long and painful nightmare. my Emily finally comes home, broken but whole.”
After her release, her family added in a statement: “Emily has returned to us. We can’t find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days.
“We are overjoyed to hug Emily again, but at the same time we remember Raya Rotem and all the hostages who have yet to return.
Emily’s dad said: ‘She has lost a lot of weight from her face and body, but overall she is doing better than we expected.’
Mr Hand previously said he was too scared to hug Emily tightly after her release
Emily is welcomed back by her family after being held hostage by Hamas for 50 days
“We will continue to do everything in our power to bring them home.
‘We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported us over the past 50 days leading up to Emily’s return.
“We appreciate the continued support as we continue our efforts for everyone’s safe return.”
Mr Hand previously told The Mirror about his nerve-wracking wait to hug Emily again, saying he would tell her: ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’
He said: ‘Emily is so incredibly sweet and innocent – and I hope and pray that this terrible experience hasn’t taken that away from her.
“I expect she’ll be very angry with me at first because you’ve been thinking, ‘Where’s Dad?’ Why didn’t Dad come and save me?’
‘But the great thing is that she can’t blame the dog at all – and I’m absolutely certain the dog will get the cuddle first, before me.
‘She really is a special girl who loves everything in this world, even the big snails that crawl through our kibbutz. Emily always placed them on her arms and hands and stroked them gently.
“I’m sure we’ll eventually be able to heal any physical problems that may be inflicted on her… but things in the mind will take a lot more time and effort.”