Brit man in Israel left with just IKEA clothes hanger after Hamas destroys home

A British national says "everything is gone" from his Israel home following a Hamas attack that gutted the property – leaving only an IKEA clothes hanger.

Worcestershire-born Ben King and his wife Meyrav, both 52, managed to survive the assault on Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel by lying on the floor of their safe room for 12 hours as terrorists launched an assault on the area. The couple and their children Jon, 23, and Shalev, 19, as well as Jon’s girlfriend Leila, 21, were later rescued by Israeli forces and are now staying in a hotel near the Dead Sea.

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Ben described his family's survival as a "miracle" but said he was left "shocked" when he was shown pictures of his home after it was torched. "I know I was just being hopeful that there might have been a corner left untouched, but I was quite shocked and possibly stunned at the complete loss of everything that I called home and my family called home," he said.

"It’s a very tough pill to swallow and I think I’m probably still processing it because every time I see things that remind me of my home, I have to remind myself that I haven’t got that any more – you haven’t got a computer, you haven’t got that sofa or those photo albums that you look through once a year. They’re all gone, everything’s gone."

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The photos and videos of Ben's home were taken by his brother Simon King, who is also staying at the hotel following the onslaught. He was in the area working when he saw his sibling's devastated property, and said he was struck by the feeling of "emptiness" after witnessing what was left of it.

The 59-year-old said: “I was walking on his [Ben's] tiles which had collapsed because they’d been so burnt – it was like walking on a beach with shells on. There was a smell of burnt wood and burnt rubber and plastic and it was shocking to see the house so empty.

"All my brother’s guitars and his computer screens where he used to make music and his wife’s sewing machine have just been totally burnt down to the ground." He said there only appeared to be one item which was intact – a metal clothes hanger from Ikea.

And it wasn't just Ben's house affected by the attack – Simon saw the effects of of “a lot of devastation” in the kibbutz. "There were burnt areas on places where there used to be grass and I was told that they put bodies there and burnt them," he added.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed since the attack was launched on October 7, while it is believed close to 4,600 Palestinians have lost their lives.

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