An 8-year-old girl who was first reported to be a casualty during the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, is now believed to be alive and held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, according to reports.
The Israel Times reported that 8-year-old Emily Hand’s family was delivered the news five days ago by Israeli officials.
Hand’s older sister, Natalie Hand, told Israeli television station Channel 12 that the family cried when they were first told Emily had been killed.
“We were told that she had been murdered. We were in mourning,” Natalie told the station. “On October 31, they told us that it was highly likely that she had been abducted.”
Emily and her family are from Kibbutz Be’eri, and on Oct. 7, the 8-year-old was at a friend’s house having a sleepover.
When the invasion occurred, Natalie reportedly told the news station, Emily’s friend and friend’s mother were abducted, though at first, their family members were also told they had been murdered.
Irish authorities are also involved in helping to find Emily, as she is also a citizen of Ireland, The Israel Times reported.
Natalie told Channel 12 Irish authorities promised to do what they can, making it clear their capacity is limited.
While in the studio, Natalie looked into the camera and spoke to Emily directly.
“I want to tell you that we are doing everything to get you home,” Natalie said. “We know you are being held hostage. We love you so much and miss you.”
On Oct. 7, Hamas-led forces crossed the Israel-Gaza border while residents were sleeping, dragging people into the street, taking some hostage while beheading and killing others.
Over 1,300 Israelis were killed in the attack, with thousands more wounded and many taken hostage by Hamas, and raped, tortured and murdered.
The war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is now in its fourth week. At least 5,700 people have been reported killed in the war on both sides, including at least 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers and 36 Americans. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry claims at least 4,385 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank and more than 13,561 wounded.