Via: The Missing Headlines.
According to reports, Israeli forces attacking a six-ship aid convoy to Gaza, killing approximately 16-20, are forcing all six ships to Israel in an act of international piracy, abducting over 700 civilians from around the world.
Among those abducted in the attack on the humanitarian flotilla is Ambassador Edward Peck, who was Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism at the Reagan White House and State Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
After retirement Ambassador Peck was Executive Secretary of the American Academy of Diplomacy. Ambassador Peck also served as a paratrooper during two tours of wartime active duty and spent 32 years in the Foreign Service, including Chief of Mission in Iraq.
Also abducted by Israeli forces is former Navy signalman Joe Meadors. Meadors, a resident of Texas, is a decorated veteran and a survivor of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which killed 34 Americans and injured 174. Meadors is a former president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, which seeks an investigation into the attack.
Other Americans believed to have been kidnapped in the Israeli assault are:
- Paul Larudee of El Cerrito, CA, a former Fullbright Scholar in Lebanon and currently a piano tuner and co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement, who also co-founded The Free Gaza Movement, the movement that first broke the siege of Gaza in 2008.
- Gene St. Onge, an Oakland, CA-based civil/structural engineer and former Peace Corp Volunteer, who is working with Palestinian engineers to rebuild housing destroyed in Israel’s 2009 invasion of Gaza.
- Janet Kobren, a retired math teacher, San Francisco Bay Area resident, and co-founder of the FPM.
- Hedy Epstein, an 85-year-old St. Louis resident whose parents were killed in the Nazi holocaust.
Others on board the flotilla include Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire from Northern Ireland and a number of European legislators.
In addition to the deaths, Israeli forces are reported to have injured over 60 of the aid participants. It is unknown how many are in critical condition or permanently disabled.