Gaza Strip Attack Hits Home for Activists' Families

By Christie Smith
|  Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010  |  Updated 7:15 AM PDT
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Bay Area Activists Aboard Flotilla Attacked in Gaza

NBC Bay Area

Oakland resident Gene St. Onge, 63, was part of the flotilla. His, wife, Jan says she was supposed to be on the boat but an injury kept her home.

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At least five Bay Area families are anxious to find out about their family members who were part of an aid flotilla that was raided by Israel commandos. Initial reports put the number of dead at nine after ships delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip were attacked.

NBC Bay Area spoke with several families members of the pro-Palestinian activists. Oakland resident Gene St. Onge, 63, was part of the flotilla. His, wife, Jan says she was supposed to be on the boat but an injury kept her home. Now she is worried. She wants  to know he is safe and wants all the Americans released. 

Three of the Bay Area activists with the Free Palestine Movement Gene St. Onge and Janet Kobren, 67, both of Oakland, and Paul Larudee, 64, of El Cerrito, were together on one of those boats, the Greek ship Sfendoni.

A fourth Bay Area woman, 63-year-old Kathy Sheetz from Marin, was on the small passenger boat Challenger 1.  A video posted on YouTube late Monday apparently showed her being taken off a boat in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod and walked into a detention center.

Protestors are expected at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco today at 4:30 p.m.

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