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Uproar over Irish prime minister's comment that Emily Hand was 'lost and now found,' with no mention of Hamas kidnappers

Emily Hand, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (Photo: Reuters)

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar tweeted on Sunday in response to 9-year-old Emily Hand's release from Hamas captivity, in which he claimed she was "lost and now been found."

He wrote in his tweet: "This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered."

Varadkar removed the ability to comment on the post.

Meanwhile, Varadkar's post caused an uproar because of his complete disregard of Hamas, the kidnapping, the 50 days they refused to release Emily, and all of the events of Oct. 7.

In response, Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said: "This is how you describe a little girl who disappeared while wandering in the woods, and then was discovered by a friendly hiker. Not a girl who was brutally kidnapped by death squads who brutally slaughtered her neighbors. But this explains the extent of Ireland's contribution: Prayers."

Hand, the 9-year-old resident of Kibbutz Be'eri, was kidnapped on Oct. 7 along with her friend Hila Rotem-Shoshani, while her stepmother, Narkis, was murdered.

Emily's father, Thomas Hand, was initially told that his daughter had been murdered, however, about one month after the massacre, the family was informed that Emily was, in fact, alive and being held hostage by Hamas.

While in captivity in Gaza, Emily celebrated her 9th birthday. Supporters around the world celebrated her birthday and wished for her to return home.

Itay is a military correspondent for KAN 11.

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