Emily Hand's Father Says She Refuses To Speak Above Whisper After Hostage Ordeal

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Tom Hand, the father of Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was held captive in Gaza last month, has revealed that his daughter only speaks in whispers having been ordered to to stay silent, during her ordeal.

Nine year old Emily Hand, was reunited with her father Tom, after being held hostage in Gaza for 50 days. The young girl was at a sleepover with her friend Hila 13, in Kibbutz Be'eri, when she was abducted during the Hamas attack. Hila was also released from captivity.

In a recent interview, Mr Hand insisted that he will do "whatever it takes", to help her rediscover her sense of safety and well-being. 

"I can't bear to think about what she's been through - she's been terrorised by terrorists in hell - but as her dad, it's my job to make it better, and I will", Mr Hand said. "It's going to be a long road, but we'll get there". 

Mr Hand also shared further detail regarding her daughter's terrifying ordeal.

"They made her run from the Israeli army from house to house. She was constantly being moved - sometimes under fire - to stay one step ahead of the army", he explained. "She must have been absolutely terrified - an eight-year-old girl being led by strangers from one blown-up shell of a house to the next in the middle of a war zone". 

Tom Hand went to reveal that Emily had recalled Hamas gunmen shout "yala, yala, yala" in Arabic, which means  "hurry, hurry, hurry" at the hostages, as they ran for their lives while gunmen fired at them.

"I said when she was being held that I was horrified by the thought of her spending her ninth birthday in the tunnels under Gaza", he added. "But the reality of what was happening to her was actually much worse - and I'm glad I didn't know what she was going through at the time". 

Emily Hand is currently being assessed by child trauma specialists at a hospital close to Tel Aviv, her father stated. He also added that she was also placed on a course of vitamins to boost her nervous system, having gone 7 weeks without food.

"I know now I'm going to become an overprotective dad and still can't bear to let her out of my sight", Mr Hand exclaimed. "But the last thing I would ever want is for her to feel trapped or threatened in any way again". 




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