Photo: Gettyimages Imagebank
Foreigners detained at Ashdod port
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
A US Navy veteran who was on board the USS Liberty, which Israel attacked during the Six Day War, is now missing after taking part in the conflict-ridden flotilla, US news agencies reported Tuesday.
Sixty-three year-old Joe Miduras, of the Texas town of Corpus Christi, has not yet made contact with his wife, Jean. She has so far remained unconcerned, however, saying she didn't think he had been hurt.
Miduras was a soldier on board the USS Liberty, which came under fire by Israeli warplanes and torpedoes on the fourth day of the 1967 war. As a result, 34 crew members were killed. "We have no luck with Israelis," his wife joked.
One other American man, a former diplomat, was also on board the flotilla. Eighty-one year-old Edward Peck, of Maryland, was the US ambassador to Mauritania and also served in the State Department during the Reagan presidency.
He is currently on his way home. His wife says she received an email from the Foreign Ministry saying Peck was in good condition, and estimated that he would be home on Tuesday.
On board the Marmara were also two Australian journalists, Paul McGeough and photographer Kate Geraghty. Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Alan Oakley, said the two had been taken to Ela Prison in Beersheba.
He said he had had no contact with the two since Monday's incidents. Oakley added that the Irish and Australian embassies in Israel would take care of the two, who are also Irish citizens.
Oakley said the journalists had participated in the flotilla as part of their jobs as reporters. "I hope the authorities respect their rights," he said.
The Immigration Authority said Tuesday that there had been 679 passengers from 40 different countries on board the boats, most of them Turkish and Greek. The youngest passenger was a two-year old child. Nine were killed and more than 40 injured during the clashes, seven of them IDF soldiers.