SYDNEY: An Australian man shot when Israeli commandos stormed an aid flotilla heading for Gaza said Monday he had been left to bleed on the ship after being hit twice in the leg.
Ahmed Luqman said he was onboard the flagship Mavi Marmara last week when a bullet ripped through his leg, cutting into his femoral artery, and another smashed into his knee causing blood to form a pool on the floor beside him.
"I’ve just been left there to lay down on the ground and just frigging bleed, and I can’t believe it," he told national broadcaster ABC from his hospital bed in Istanbul.
"Many of the soldiers that came up, picked up my passport because it was a different color, looked at it, chucked it on the ground next to me and said, ‘Ah, you’re Australian’."
Luqman, 20, said that after the raid the Israelis made him "climb all the stairs on my own without any assistance, and I passed out like three or four times just getting up the stairs on my own".
Nine activists died during the Israeli naval operation against the flotilla, which was attempting to break a blockade on Gaza.
Luqman, whose nursing student wife was with him at the time and gave him immediate medical attention, said he was not intending to fight the Israelis and had been trying to seek cover when he was hit.
"I was just trying to get into the cabin and (was) just shot, like most of the other people who were just shot for nothing," he said.
The Australian said he did not regret his actions and would "go again".
"We don’t care and if they take me, if they kill me in the process, I’m ready for that," Luqman said.