Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, 9, whose father feared her dead, among hostages released from Hamas captivity

25 November 2023, 22:14 | Updated: 26 November 2023, 00:01

Emily Hand has been released
Emily Hand has been released. Picture: Handout/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Nine-year-old Irish-Israel girl Emily Hand is among those to have been released by Hamas as a second group of hostages were freed by Hamas.

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Emily's release comes just one day after her ninth birthday.

Her father had previously feared his daughter was dead.

Emily, who had been living in Israel prior to her captivity, was seized in kibbutz Be'eri on October 7th by Hamas as she enjoyed a sleepover with her friends.

Around 50 hostages are expected to be released in total, with women, children, and the elderly expected to prioritised, as part of a ceasefire deal agreed by Israel and Hamas.

Meanwhile, 39 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel.

Which hostages have been released?

Relatives of hostages in the Gaza Strip demonstrate in Tel Aviv
Relatives of hostages in the Gaza Strip demonstrate in Tel Aviv. Picture: Getty

Haran/Shoham family: Shoshan Haran (67), Adi (38), Nave (8), Yahal (3)

Or family: Noam (16) and Alma (13)

Weiss family: Shiri (53), and Noga (18)

Avigdori family: Sharon (52) and Noam (12)

Others: Hila Rotem Shoshani (12), Maya Regev (21), and Emily Hand (9)

Four Thai nationals have been released too, though their names are not yet known.

Noam Or, 17 and his 13-year-old sister Alma Or
Noam Or, 17 and his 13-year-old sister Alma Or. Picture: Handout
Hila Rotem Shoshani (right) was released by Hamas tonight though her mother Raya Rotem (left) is still a hostage in Gaza
Hila Rotem Shoshani (right) was released by Hamas tonight though her mother Raya Rotem (left) is still a hostage in Gaza. Picture: Handout
Relatives of hostages in the Gaza Strip demonstrate in Tel Aviv
Relatives of hostages in the Gaza Strip demonstrate in Tel Aviv. Picture: Getty

Emily, 9, was handed over to the Red Cross and driven to the Rafah crossing, which connects Gaza and Egypt.

She will then be reunited with her Irish father, as well as her two half siblings.

Read More: Devastated father tearfully says the death of his daughter, 8, at the hands of Hamas is a ‘blessing’

Read More: Girl whose father said 'it was a blessing' she was killed not abducted by Hamas 'is alive and held hostage'

Emily’s freedom was “my reason for living and getting up in the morning every day”, her father told a press conference earlier in November.

There had been delay to the release of hostages today, after 24 were released yesterday, after Hamas accused Israel of not respecting the truce.

Israel denies the claims.

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