Emily Hand was kidnapped by Hamas in its attack on Israel on October 7.

A father is pleading for the return of his 9-year-old daughter. Emily Hand was kidnapped by Hamas in its attack on Israel on October 7. She is believed to be one of over 240 hostages currently held by Hamas. The father, Thomas Hand is pleading for Emily’s return after Israel and Hamas reached an agreement for a four-day truce. The deal calls for 50 civilian hostages held by Hamas to be released and for Palestinians in Israeli prisons to be released. 

“That’d be very great for everyone concerned on both sides,” Thomas Hand, 63 told The Guardian. “It gives me hope, but until I see her, until I’m holding her I won’t believe anything. Until I see it, I won’t believe it.”

Mr Hand during a press conference in London described his life as a nightmare. “I know the Israeli government and the army will do everything in their capabilities to get them back.” 

Emily was initially believed to be among the 1,200 Israelis killed during the surprise attack by Hamas in southern Israel. Now, she is counted among the 240 hostages in Gaza.

“My sole purpose in life now is to do everything I can to get my little daughter Emily back,” said Hand, who after living in Be’eri kibbutz for 20 years working in a printing house, now lives in a hotel near the Dead Sea. “Nothing else concerns me.”

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also shared a video on its Facebook page and wrote, “This beautiful 8-year-old girl Emily Hand was believed to have been murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7th. We now know she is being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Please share this and help us bring Emily home.”

Under the Israel-Hamas deal, the two sides agreed to a four-day truce so that 50 women and children under the age of 19 taken hostage could be freed in return for 150 Palestinian women and teenagers in Israeli detention, Reuters reported. 

The four-day truce will start at 7 am local time (05:00 GMT) on Friday and the first 13 civilian captives will be released at about 4 pm (14:00 GMT), the Qatari foreign ministry says.

The 50 hostages, among about 240 taken by Hamas in their Oct. 7 raid on Israel, are expected to be released in batches, probably about a dozen a day, during the four-day ceasefire.

Those involved in the deal have described the break in hostilities as “a humanitarian pause”. The pause will be extended by a day for each additional batch of 10 hostages released, Israel said in a statement.

The hostages are expected to be transported through Egypt, the only country apart from Israel to share a border with Gaza.

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