London (AFP) – Emily Hand, the nine-year-old girl released after 50 days of Hamas detention, will now only speak in hushed tones after her captors ordered her to remain silent, her father told British tabloid The Sun in an interview published Wednesday.
Published on: 11/29/2023 – 10:39Amended: 11/29/2023 – 10:37
“She was a normal, happy, loud child, but now she is whispering: she was moving her lips without volume or even air coming out,” Thomas Hand was quoted as saying.
“She got used to talking like that for 50 days and now I guess she can’t stop,” he said, adding that he would now do “whatever it takes” to help him recover.
Irish-Israeli citizen Emily was sleeping at a friend’s house in Kibbutz Beeri when Hamas militants stormed the compound and took her hostage on October 7.
Her father thought she had been killed.
Hand told the newspaper he was “obviously extremely happy and grateful” that she had been returned, adding that she had not been mistreated in captivity but had lost weight.
He revealed that the first thing she wanted to do after their meeting was watch a video of pop star Beyoncé.
Emily was released as part of a deal to release Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during the ongoing truce in the conflict.
Israel says some 240 people were captured in the October 7 Hamas attack, which killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians.
Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says a subsequent Israeli air and ground campaign in the territory killed nearly 15,000 people, mostly ordinary Palestinians.
© 2023 AFP