A 9-year-old Irish-Israeli girl whose father first believed she had been murdered on October 7 was among 13 Israeli hostages freed by Hamas on Saturday.
Emily Hunt spent “her birthday in the tunnels of Gaza,” her father told Fox News Digital last week. “No parties. No friends. She won’t even know if it’s day or night. There’s no light down there. So she won’t know it’s her birthday.”
After waking up at a friend’s house in the Be’eri kibbutz in southern Israel on October 7, Hand, her friend, Hila, and her friend’s mother were all kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Hunt was still wearing her Disney pajamas.
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He is among about 240 Israeli citizens seized by Hamas amid a surprise attack that started the war with Israel and held hostage.
Hunt’s release came a day after the release of another group of 13 hostages on Friday, the first day of a temporary ceasefire.
Thomas said he was first told his daughter was killed before he knew she had been kidnapped.
Before her release, her father saw Emily for the last time on the evening of October 6 at dinner in the communal dining room of the kibbutz.
“We had an eyewitness who saw her being driven by the terrorists with her friend where she was sleeping and that friend’s mother,” he said last week. “So it is absolutely confirmed that the terrorists took her and she is now in the tunnels of Gaza.”
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Video was released Saturday of Emily’s emotional reunion with her father after more than 50 days in captivity.
Israeli soldiers stood by as family members hugged each other.
Other hostages released Saturday are Noam Or, 17, and Alma Or, 13, along with 53-year-old Shiri Weiss and 18-year-old Noga Weiss.
Also released were Sharon Hertzman Avigdori, 52, and 12-year-old Noam Avigdori. Other captives included Shoshan Haran, 67, Adi Shoham, 38, and 8-year-old Nave Shoham, along with 3-year-old Yahel Shoham.
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The other two Israeli captives were Hila Rotem Shoshani, 13, and 21-year-old Maya Regev Jarbi. Four Thai nationals were also released.
Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.