Emily Handthe nine-year-old girl freed after Hamas held her hostage for 50 days, now only speaks in whispers after his captors ordered him to remain silent, his father told the British tabloid The Sun in an interview published Wednesday.
“She was a normal, happy and noisy girl, but now she whispers, moving her lips without volume or even without air”said Thomas Hand.
“He’s gotten used to talking like this for the last 50 days and now I guess he can’t stop.”he said, adding that he will now do “whatever it takes” to help her recover.
Irish-Israeli citizen Emily was sleeping at a friend’s house in Beeri Kibbutz when Hamas militants stormed the compound and took her hostage on October 7.
Emilywhose mother died of cancer when she was just two and a half years old, was initially presumed dead before it was learned that she was among the hostages.
In the interview with The Sunher father claims that Hamas constantly moved her from one shelter to another to escape the Israeli army.
Hand told the newspaper that he was “obviously extremely happy and grateful” for being returned, adding that she had not suffered abuse in captivity but had lost weight.
He revealed that the first thing the boy wanted to do after they met was watch a video of the pop star. Beyonce.
Emily was freed as part of a deal to release Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during a current truce in the conflict.
A video of the emotional reunion between father and daughter had gone viral after the girl’s release on Sunday.
In the midst of joy, however, Tom Hand He did not forget those who are still in the hands of the terrorist group. “We are happy to be able to hug Emily again,” she said then, “but at the same time We remember all the hostages who have not yet returned home. “We will continue to do everything in our power to bring them home.”
Lasting psychological impact
The statements of the father of hand They are a new testimony of the lasting impact of captivity on children.
The doctor Galit Livni, head of the pediatrics department at Schneider Children’s Hospital, which received several hostages, said that although the physical condition of the children was good, “the signs of his time in captivity are evident.”
“They do not have any serious illnesses, but you can see from their general condition and also from their nutritional status that during the time they were there they were not always healthy. From this point of view, the fact that they are monitored by a dietician is extremely important.“, said.
But beyond the physical state of the hostages, the most disturbing questions have to do with the psychological impact that their experience will have on the rest of their lives.
“We still don’t know what the effect will be.” [psicológico] later. For now, they are in the care of the teams [médicos] and mental health therapists,” the doctor told Haaretz.
Hand’s testimony joins another that was known in the last few hours, that of Eitan Yahalomia 12-year-old boy also recently released from captivity in Gaza.
The child’s aunt, Devora Cohentold French television that the terrorists forced him to watch videos of the atrocities that they carried out on October 7 and that every time a captive child cried “They threatened them with rifles to keep them quiet.”.
In statements to BFMCohen said that “The Hamas terrorists forced him to watch horror films, the kind that no one wants to see, they forced him to watch them”.
He said that Hamas members were “monsters”.
“When he arrived in Gaza, all the residents, everyone, beat him. “He is a 12 year old boy.”said.
Israel says some 240 people were captured in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, which killed 1,200, most of them civilians.
The Gaza Ministry of Health, led by Hamassays that a subsequent Israeli air and ground campaign in the territory has killed nearly 15,000 people.
(with information from AFP)