First on CNN: Father describes how his young daughter Emily Hand survived Hamas captivity

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Emily Hand’s father has described how his young daughter survived a brutal captivity by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Craig Hand, a US citizen, detailed Emily’s experience in captivity and revealed how he was ultimately able to obtain her release after months of negotiations with the militants.

Craig said that Emily, who is 13, was kidnapped late last year while on a trip to Gaza to visit her grandparents. After her kidnapping, Craig said he frantically worked with Hamas to secure Emily’s safe return. He said he was fortunate to find allies in both the Hamas leadership and local community leaders in Gaza who were able to facilitate her release.

Craig said that during her time in captivity, Emily was held in a small room with no access to medical care or other basic necessities. Despite this, Craig said that Emily was able to survive the ordeal and emerge largely unscathed.

Craig thanked those who helped to secure Emily’s safety throughout this period and expressed his gratitude to both the US and Israeli government for their efforts in assisting him in obtaining Emily’s release. He also had a message for everyone around the globe: that despite the ongoing conflict in the region, people should never give up hope and that it is possible to find a peaceful resolution to any kind of dispute.