Politics

Irish PM Sparks Anger for Saying Freed Child Hostage ‘Found’ After She was ‘Lost’

Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar sparked equal measures of anger and dismay Saturday when he greeted the discharge of Israeli-Irish hostage Emily Hand by saying “an innocent child who was lost has now been found.”

Varadkar used social media to make his assertion neglecting to say the nine-year-old Hand had been held hostage for 50 days in Gaza by Hamas terrorists after she was taken from a sleepover along with her buddy on October 7 in the course of the terror group’s devastating assault on Israel.

“This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family,” Varadkar’s official account tweeted on X, previously Twitter. “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.”

Readers of the tweet responded by placing the matter into context, with critics accusing the Irish premier of attempting to normalise terror notably for his use of the phrases “lost and found”:

Emily Hand was not “lost”, she was “kidnapped”, taken as hostage by Hamas. Kidnapping is in opposition to the regulation, being misplaced just isn’t.

Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stated he had ordered his workers to name in Ireland’s ambassador for a reprimand.

In a publish on X directed at Varadkar earlier on Sunday, Cohen wrote: “It seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check!”

The Times of Israel set out a number of different diplomatic responses, observing War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz panned the remarks, saying in a publish on X that “Emily was never ‘Lost’ – she was brutally kidnapped and held hostage by terrorist Hamas.”

Israeli authorities spokesperson Eylon Levy additionally joined in. He tweeted a response assailing Varadkar and asserting his remarks have been consultant of Ireland’s passivity on your complete hostage scenario.

“This is how you describe a little girl who went missing during a stroll in a forest, then gets discovered by a friendly hiker,” Levy wrote. “Not a girl brutally abducted by death squads that brutally massacred her neighbors.”

File/A lady holds a Star of David pendant and a leaflet Irish-Israeli lady Emily Hand held hostage by Palestinian terror group Hamas in Gaza throughout a gathering for her ninth birthday exterior the workplace of Save The Children International in London on November 17, 2023. (DANIEL LEAL/AFP through Getty)

Thomas Hand (L), the daddy of Emily Hand, and Orit Meir (R), the mom of Almog Meir, react throughout a press convention on the Embassy of Israel by members of the family of a few of these held hostage in Gaza, on November 20, 2023 on the Israeli embassy in London, England. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“But this explains the extent of Ireland’s contribution: prayers,” he added.

War cupboard minister Benny Gantz agreed, including “Emily was never ‘Lost’ – she was brutally kidnapped and held hostage by terrorist Hamas.”

Israeli authorities spokesperson Eylon Levy additionally tweeted a response assailing Varadkar and asserting that his remarks have been consultant of Ireland’s passivity on your complete hostage scenario.

“This is how you describe a little girl who went missing during a stroll in a forest, then gets discovered by a friendly hiker,” Levy wrote. “Not a girl brutally abducted by death squads that brutally massacred her neighbors.”

First Israeli Hostages Return; 10 Thai, One Filipino Freed; 39 Palestinian Convicts Released

Israel Defense Forces

“But this explains the extent of Ireland’s contribution: prayers,” he added.

Hand was kidnapped together with round 240 different individuals of all ages when 1000’s of terrorists crossed the border from the Gaza Strip and murdered over 1,200 individuals in Israel, principally civilians slaughtered of their houses and at a music competition.

Her father had initially been advised that she had died within the October 7 assault; he stated it was higher that she had died than need to endure torture by Hamas.

When it was reported she was nonetheless alive, he prayed for her launch — and it lastly got here on Saturday evening. A photograph of the reunion of father and daughter confirmed her trying extraordinarily pale however relieved, holding a teddy bear that had been given to her.

Meanwhile one of many different hostages, Maya Regev, needed to be taken to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva (Beersheba) for pressing medical therapy, as Breitbart’s Joel Pollak reported.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com



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