No guarantee Emily Hand will be among hostages released – Israeli Ambassador

Hamas has said it will release all female and child hostages on Friday.
James Wilson
James Wilson

13.34 23 Nov 2023

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No guarantee Emily Hand will b...

No guarantee Emily Hand will be among hostages released – Israeli Ambassador

James Wilson
James Wilson

13.34 23 Nov 2023

Share this article

There is still no guarantee Emily Hand will be among the hostages released by Hamas, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland has warned.

The nine-year-old girl is thought to have been kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th and held captive in Gaza ever since.

Following agreement that 50 women and child hostages would be released by Hamas on Friday, the expectation has been that Emily will be among those freed


Speaking to The Pat Kenny Show, Ambassador Dana Erlich said she could not be certain Emily is on a list of those who will be released. 

“We don’t have the specifics of lists yet,” she said. 

“I don’t know about specific lists; I imagine when people make lists of the children who are held in Gaza, when people make lists of the most vulnerable that are held in Gaza, obviously Emily’s name will be there,” she said. 

“But it’s not necessarily a list that we’ve seen until now.”

Ms Erlich said she had met with Emily’s family and hoped all hostages would be released soon. 

“We are hoping for her release and I know how much Irish people are worried and are praying with her family for her release,” she said. 

“I just ask the Irish people, think of all the other families of 240 people held in Gaza. Think of their families. 

“We need to bring them home.” 

'A horrible situation'

Since Israel declared war on Hamas, Palestinian authorities estimate at least 11,000 people have died but they have lost the ability to count accurately. 

Ms Erlich described the situation as “tragic” but maintained Israel had a right to defend itself.  

“This is a war that we didn’t want and was launched on us on October 7th. 

“It’s a horrible situation that we’re in right now and we see the horrible images in Gaza. 

“The question again should be addressed to Hamas… Why are they abusing their population?”

She also acknowledged the “painful” bereavements the people of Gaza are suffering but said Hamas was to blame for the conflict. 

“We don’t want any more people to get hurt,” she said. 

“So, I don’t think there are any disagreements there. 

“Israel entirely hurts for the people of Gaza because we are all hostages of Hamas [who are] playing all of us in this very brutal, cynical game. 

“This needs to come to an end and we need to hold them accountable.”

Ireland-Israel relationship

Last night, the Dáil rejected a People Before Profit motion to expel Ms Erlich from Ireland and place sanctions on Israel. 

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar support for the motion came from people who have “no experience of foreign policy”

Despite this, he also said he hoped the EU’s "very passive" policy toward Israel would change going forward. 

“When it comes to Israel, we generally trade with Israel and engage with Israel as though it were a normal Western European democracy that wasn't occupying a good part of somebody else's country,” he said.

Main image: The Israeli Ambassador. 


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