A rocket attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel has claimed the lives of several British citizens and left others missing, according to their families and friends.
Bernard Cowan: “The kindest, most generous person”
One of the victims was Bernard Cowan, who was murdered on Saturday in Ashkelon, a city near the Gaza border. His brother confirmed his death on social media, saying he was “heartbroken” by the loss of his sibling.
“My brother was murdered by the terrorists Hamas, he was the kindest, most generous person you would ever meet, and would go out his way to help others, we are all heartbroken,” he wrote.
Mr Cowan’s local MSP, Jackson Carlaw, also expressed his condolences and called his death “desperately sad and grim news”.
Nathanel Young: A talented DJ and soldier
Another British citizen who lost his life in the attack was Nathanel Young, a 20-year-old soldier serving in the Israeli army. He was killed on Saturday when Palestinian militants launched a surprise assault on his base.
Mr Young was a former pupil at JFS Jewish school in London and a passionate music lover. He was a talented DJ who performed both on base and at a lone-soldier house where he lived.
His brother, Eliot Young, said in a statement: “Nathanel was full of life and the life of the party. He loved his family and friends and was loved by everyone. He loved music and was a talented DJ, DJing both on base and at Benji’s House, the lone-soldier house where he was living.”
Jack Marlowe: Missing after providing security at a rave
Jack Marlowe, a 26-year-old security guard who also went to JFS Jewish school, is believed to be missing after providing security at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza border.
His mother told the Jewish News that the last message she got from her son was one saying he loved her. He also texted her to say that rockets were flying over and that everything was OK.
“He was doing security at this rave yesterday and called me at 4.30am to say all these rockets were flying over,” Lisa said. “Then, at about 5.30am, he texted to say, ‘Signal very bad, everything OK, will keep you updated I promise you’, and that he loves me.”
Dan Darlington and Carolin Bohl: Feared dead in Kibbutz Nir Oz
Dan Darlington, a photographer from London, and Carolin Bohl, a German national, are feared to be dead after they were caught in an attack by Hamas fighters in Kibbutz Nir Oz, where they were staying as volunteers.
Ms Bohl’s sister, Anja Pasquesi, wrote on Instagram: “Today we learned from Carolin’s friend on the ground in Kibbutz Nor Oz in Israel that she and her friend Danny were killed in a terrorist attack yesterday. We are broken and are working to cope with this unimaginable tragedy.”
Ms Bohl’s brother-in-law Sam Pasquesi said on Instagram there has been no “official confirmation” but there has been “reliable information” on the ground.
Mr Darlington was a freelance photographer who had worked for various publications, including The Guardian and The Times.
More than ten Britons affected by the violence
The Foreign Office said it was aware of reports of British nationals being killed or injured in Israel and Gaza and was offering consular assistance.
More than ten Britons are feared dead or missing after violence broke out between Israel and Hamas last week. The conflict has claimed more than 200 lives so far, mostly Palestinians.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said his parents-in-law were stuck in Israel after flights were cancelled due to the rocket fire. He said they were safe but anxious to return home.
The UK government has urged both sides to de-escalate the situation and work towards a ceasefire.