Isle of Wight Man in Gaza Aid Ship Raid

The partner of a man from the Isle of Wight on board the flotilla attempting to deliver aid to Gaza has spoken of her anxious wait to hear from him following an attack.

Several British nationals have been detained by Israeli authorities according the Foreign Office. Consulate officials were ''urgently seeking access'' to the Britons being held in the the town of Be'er Sheva.

It is believed that as many as 28 people from the UK were taking part in the aid effort when it came under fire. Foreign Office sources said many of those detained had refused to give their names to the Israelis, making it hard to give firm numbers of Britons involved.

It was confirmed earlier that one Briton was injured in the attack and had received medical treatment. Attempts to contact British members of the flotilla have so far proved fruitless.

The lack of communication has left relatives and friends back in the UK feeling anxious. Rachel Bridgeland's partner, Peter Venner, 63, from Ryde, was on the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara when it was boarded overnight en route from Cyprus
to Gaza. ''I'm very concerned and waiting by the phone but, assuming he's not dead, he will be imprisoned by the Israelis and they won't let him make contact,'' she said of the father of two.

She dismissed as ''nonsense'' the idea that those on the flotilla were violent and said Mr Venner was ''an ordinary man'' who ran a wood yard but felt strongly about the Gaza situation.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: ''The consulate is heading to Be'er Sheva where we understand British nationals are being detained.'' She added that staff in the country were ''urgently seeking access to British nationals''.

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