Freed hostage Emily Hand was a “happy noisy kid, now she whispers”, says her dad following her kidnapping by Hamas.

Video footage issued by the Israel Defence Forces showed her running into her father Thomas Hand's arms at a location in Israel after 50 days in captivity in Gaza. She had been abducted while at a sleepover in Kibbutz Be'eri during the Hamas attack on October 7, along with her friend, who has also been released.

Emily spent her ninth birthday as a hostage and now her dad has said that he will do whatever he can to bring the sparkle back to her life, saying that she has lost more than half a stone during the ordeal. The 63-year-old from Dublin told how she is a fan of Beyonce and the first thing she asked him for after her release was his phone so she could watch a video of the singer.

Emily was held hostage for 50 days (
Israel Army/AFP via Getty Images)

“She was a happy noisy kid, now she whispers. She’s been terrorised by terrorists in hell but as her dad it’s my job to make it better and I will,” Tom told The Sun. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get Emily back to where she was. Her chubby cheeks may have gone but she’s smiling again now she’s safe. I can’t bear to think about what she’s been through - she’s been terrorised by terrorists in hell - but as her dad it’s my job to make it better and I will.”

Tom said that his daughter now speaks in a "whisper" (

Tom’s ex-wife Narkis was killed during the attack on the Be’eri kibbutz on October 7, while he was at a house nearby and Emily was at a sleepover with her friend 13-year-old Hila Rotem. After 19 hours locked in the safe room at his home he was eventually freed and he believed that Emily had been killed, telling the media she was “better off dead” than kidnapped by Hamas.

Emily pictured as she was released by Hamas

Tom said that while she was held as a hostage she was forced to move from one Hamas base to another. He said: "They made her run from the Israeli army from house to house. She was constantly being moved - sometimes under fire - to stay one step ahead of the army. She must have been absolutely terrified - an eight-year-old girl being led by strangers from one blown-up shell of a house to the next in the middle of a war zone."