Israel slams Irish PM over statement after Hamas releases 9-year-old Emily Hand: ‘She wasn’t found’

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Israeli government spokesman Eilon Levy criticized Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Sunday for his statement on the release of nine-year-old Irish-Israeli prisoner Emily Hand.

Emily Hand, a nine-year-old girl, from Cbtsbury. Emily was one of 13 Israelis and four hostages freed early Saturday morning.

In a statement posted on X on Saturday, Leo Varadkar “The innocent child that was lost is now found. Found and returned“And we breathe a big sigh of relief”.

“Our prayers have been answered,” Varadkar said.

Responding to Varadkar’s X post, Levi Hand said it was “not gone” but “wasHe was brutally kidnapped by killers who massacred her neighbors.”

“She was not ‘unavailable’. Hamas knew where she was and held her hostage for insults. And Hamas did not answer your prayers. It responded to Israeli military pressure,” Levy wrote.

Little Emily Hand will still be a prisoner of Hamas if Israel does not put military pressure on Hamas, says Ireland shamefully ‘something approaching revenge’. “Hamas was ‘blind but now he sees’ (if the above statement refers to miraculous grace),” Levy added.

Relations between Israel and Ireland are unusually strained. After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, Varakdar protested the attack, killing more than 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages. However, days later, the Irish prime minister became one of the few European officials to sound the warning, Al Jazeera reported.

“Israel has no right to make a mistake,” Varakdar said in a play on words as most European leaders insisted Israel had a “right” to defend itself during a bombing campaign led by Hamas in Gaza.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins, whose role is largely ceremonial, has accused Israel of reducing international law on the protection of civilians to “fun”.

“This is how you describe a little girl who gets lost while hiking in the woods, and then is found by a friendly hiker. She is not a girl who was brutally abducted by death squads who brutally slaughtered her neighbors. But this explains the extent of Ireland’s contribution: prayers,” Levy wrote in another post after Emily’s release.

Who is Emily Hand??

Emily Hand was one of the 240 people. On October 7, the Gazan military was hijacked by Hamas militants as they crossed the border with Israel.

Hamas released a second batch of Israeli and foreign civilians held hostage in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Israeli officials said 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals, including Emily, had returned to Israel.

Emily turned nine years old in prison earlier this month.

Her father, Thomas Hand, who was born in Ireland and later moved to Israel, told the AFP news agency earlier this month that he thought his daughter had been killed in the attack.

“Later we had an eyewitness … (who) saw her being taken by terrorists into Gaza in a van,” he said after the attack on the Biri kibbutz.

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