Emily Hand, a young girl who celebrated her ninth birthday without a party, has been missing for over a year since she was taken hostage by Hamas militants during the invasion of Israel. Her father, Thomas Hand, expressed the fear of not knowing where his daughter is and the uncertainty of whether she even knows it’s her birthday.
Shortly after the Hamas attack, Emily’s father was told that she had been killed. However, later he was informed that her body and DNA had not been found among the blood and dead in Be’era. Emily’s parents never married and lived separately, with her mother passing away beforehand. Afterward, Emily moved to Handu in Be’era with her father to make the transition easier.
Emily’s father described her as a natural leader among her friends and mentioned that she had started school in Be’era and wanted to learn to play the guitar. As he is currently in New York to unveil a billboard featuring Emily in Times Square, Thomas expressed his hope that it will be much harder to damage than the posters that have been torn down by protesters in recent weeks.
Despite all these difficulties, Thomas remains optimistic about his daughter’s safe return home someday.