THE dad of a young Irish-Israeli girl taken hostage in Gaza has opened up about his heartbreaking wish for his "terrified" daughter.
Emily Hand, 8, was feared dead after a Hamas attack but it is now believed that she is a hostage in Gaza.
After mourning the loss of his daughter, Dublin man Tom Hand told Sky News he’s “very happy” she may still be alive.
Tom opened up about her ninth birthday coming up next week and told how his little girl will have no idea.
He said tearfully: “We want to hug her again. We want to see her dancing again, singing again.”
The devastated dad broke down admitting she will probably come out “broken”.
Tom said: “That there's a chance that she's alive and will come out of it, no matter how broken, physically or mentally.
“We're going to have to fix her. It's going to take years I’m sure, but we want her back.”
Tom had previously submitted Emily's dental records, his DNA samples and photos of her for identification.
Within one week, the Irish Embassy in Israel confirmed that DNA tests have led authorities to believe Emily was not among those killed.
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Tom said: “I just want to hold her and not let go.”
Emily, who's from Kibbutz Be’eri, had gone to a friend’s house for a sleepover the night before the attack.
Tom recalled: “Once I was told that Emily was dead shocking as it was, how awful it was and then find out Natali's mum was dead.
"I thought my family nightmare was over, that we could just begin the normal procedure of grieving.
“And we did. We started to grieve and then the new information came that actually she's probably not dead she's probably been taken to Gaza.
“So that was hard. It was hard to take, because immediately your mind starts thinking how she would have been taken, what conditions she's living in now.”
He revealed that her friend’s phone and her friend’s mother's phone have been tracked to Gaza.
Tom said his daughter is an “angel” with an amazing internal “strength and spirit".
He appealed directly to Emily's abductors on TV and begged them to let his daughter go.
Speaking on Virgin Media News, he said: "I beg you, on bent knees, to please release the children including Emily.
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"Have some humanity, have some pity, some humane feelings of any kind please.
"I just want my little girl back".
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