When word first traveled of the death of Emily Hand, the entire world was shaken.
The 8-year-old little girl’s father, Thomas Hand, said that while her death was heartbreaking, it was probably far better than her being held hostage by the terrorist organization.
Now, Hand found out his little may still be alive, and he regrets saying that she would have been better off dead.
Reports started to break over the weekend that Emily may still be alive.
Hand told CNN, “She is more than likely in a tunnel somewhere under Gaza.
“It’s her birthday on the 17th of [November]. She will be 9.
“She won’t even know day it is. She won’t know it’s her birthday.
“There will be no birthday cake. No party, no friends.
“She will just be petrified in a tunnel under Gaza. That is her birthday.”
Emily had been on an overnight visit at a friend’s house when Hamas attacked Israel, taking more than 200 hostages and killing more than 1,000 innocent civilians.
When Hand was initially told that his daughter had been killed, he responded, “I went ‘yes!’ I went ‘yes’ and smiled. Because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew.
“That was the best possibility I was hoping for.”
The world was stunned by his answer, which he tried to clarify, stating, “She was either dead or in Gaza. And if you know anything about what they do to people in Gaza, that is worse than death.”
The reason the IDF believes that Emily may still be alive is because cell phones that belong to Emily’s friend’s family have been tracked inside Gaza.
It is far from certain that she is alive, but there is now hope, which is still tortuous for Hand.
On a hopeful reunion, Hand stated, “In my head, I can see her running to me, and me running to her, picking her up, never letting her go.”