NEW YORK (VINnews) — New details have emerged about the trauma and horror experienced by Emily Hand, the nine-year-old girl who was released this weekend from Hamas captivity.Join our WhatsApp group
Subscribe to our Daily Roundup Email
Thomas Hand spoke to CNN about Emily’s 50 days spent as a hostage.
When he looked at her after their reunion, he saw that “her face was chiseled, like mine, whereas before it was chubby, girly, a young kid face.” Emily had lost a significant amount of weight in captivity and was paler than he had ever seen her.
“The most shocking, disturbing part of meeting her was she was just whispering, you couldn’t hear her. I had to put my ear on her lips,” he said. “She’d been conditioned not to make any noise.”
“You could just see glassy-eyed terror,” he said.
When Hand asked how long Emily thought she had been held in Gaza, she replied “a year.”
“Apart from the whispering, that was a punch in the guts. A year,” he said.
He stated that when she was kidnapped, Emily was “pulled, dragged, pushed” by her captors through Kibbutz Be’eri on the day of the massacre, and taken to a place in Gaza which she is calling “the box.”
He said that when Emily was returned, her head was covered in lice, and she “cried until her face was red and blotchy” last night.
Thomas Hand speaks about the moment he was reunited with his daughter, Emily.
“It was only when she stepped back a little that I could see her face was chiseled like mine. Whereas before she left it was chubby.”pic.twitter.com/11i1Hk9yyd
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 28, 2023
Emily, who turned 9 in captivity, was held with her friend Hila Rotem-Shoshani and Hila’s mother Raaya before the children were released.
However the separation of Hila from her mother two nights before the girls were freed – breach of the agreements between Hamas and Israel – was “another step of cruelty,” Hand said.
Emily had been at a sleepover at Hila’s house when Hamas terrorists stormed Kibbutz Be’eri.