Brit killed in Israel was ‘murdered in cold blood in his own home’, family says

The family of a British man shot dead in his home in Israel claim that he was “murdered in cold blood”.

Bernard Cowan, from Newton Mearns, Scotland was killed when Hamas fighters stormed into Israeli towns over the weekend. Hundreds were killed, and more were abducted.

The 57-year-old’s sister Laura claimed her brother was shot and murdered by the organisation who the UK see as a terror group. Their brother Colin Cowan also took to social media to confirm his “kind and generous” brother was murdered.

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The post said: “My brother was murdered by the terrorist Hamas, he was the kindest, most generous person you would ever meet, and would go out of his way to help others. We are all heartbroken."

Bernard grew up near Glasgow moved to the Middle East sometime before the atrocity. More than 1,500 people across Israel and Gaza were killed after Hamas fighters stored the border on Saturday.

Bernard’s cousin Simon Gordon posted to Twitter to claim the 57-year-old was killed “in cold blood in his home”. The Tweet read: “And when I thought the shock of what happened in Israel yesterday couldn’t get worse.

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“I find out a cousin was killed. Bernard Cowan, nice guy, kids etc. Gone.”

According to the Scottish Daily Express, tributes poured in for the “lovely man”. The publication added that Mark Ryder said: "A lovely man taken from this world too soon in a horrible and sick way. Wishing you all a long life."

Julie Cohen added: "So very sorry for you all Colin. Wishing you and all the family a long life, really heartbreaking and beyond cruel."

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And Jackie Benson posted: "There are just no words that can express the anger and distress we all feel here in Israel right now. Wishing you and all the family long life."

Amanda Jayne Harris added: "Absolutely horrific to know Bernard's life was ended this way."

Mr Cowan, who was a keen diver, grew up near Glasgow before moving to the Middle East. He would have celebrated his 58th birthday later this month.

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Vicci Stein, of Glasgow Friends of Israel, said: "The last time we saw Bernard, he and his son Yaniv came to see us at the GFI stall. Yaniv loved Glasgow so much that he was considering coming here to live. Bernard was such a warm and friendly person, so full of life with so much to live for."

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office would not confirm that Bernard was one of the fatalities. They said: “We don’t comment on individual consular cases.

“However, we can confirm we are in contact with, and assisting, the families of several individuals in Israel and the OPTs. The safety of all British nationals continues to be our utmost priority and we urge everyone to continue to follow our travel advice which is updated regularly.”

Around 900 people have been killed in Israel since Saturday's surprise attack, while nearly 600 people have died since Israel began striking Gaza in response.

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