The daughter of an Irishman believed to have been killed in the Hamas attacks of October 7 reportedly could be still alive and being held hostage.
Emily Hand, eight, was feared dead after the assault on Kibbutz Be’eri.
Hamas killed more than 100 people in the kibbutz, with dozens more missing following the violence.
The girl’s father, Thomas Hand – who is originally from Dublin, gave an emotional media interview after being informed she had likely been murdered in the attack.
Israeli media reported on Sunday that the family has been informed Emily may be alive and being held hostage in Gaza. The Israeli Defence Forces told them of this possibility on October 31, the reports said.
The Times of Israel reported that Emily’s sister Natalie had made an TV appeal in the country appealing for her return.
Natalie Hand reportedly told Channel 12 in Israel the family was initially informed that Emily had been murdered.
“We were in mourning,” she said.
She added: “On October 31, they told us that it was highly likely that she had been abducted.”
In a direct message to her sister, Natalie Hand continued: “I want to tell you that we are doing everything to get you home. We know you are being held hostage. We love you so much and miss you.”
In a statement, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case of Emily Hand and is providing consular assistance to her family.
“We will not be commenting further at this time.”