I don’t want condemnations, I want my friend back

Khaled Sahmoud


The UN is calling for a conference.


“How are you, my friend?” I asked.

“I’m alright. How about you?” Khaled replied.

“Good, we’ve evacuated our house, you know how dangerous the situation is there. Yesterday, they showered us with their US missiles. I couldn’t sleep because of the explosions,” I said.

“May God help you and your family, my friend,” Khaled said.

“Say, Khaled, what do you think of what happened to the Shujaiya neighborhood?” I asked.

That’s genocide.

“I know, may God help those innocent people. Oh, right: tell me about your place. Is it safe there? No damage? You can come here to the UN school to live for a while. I know they are inappropriate for humans to live in, but at least it’s safe here.”

A UN school has been targeted by an Israeli warplane a few minutes ago.

“Hhhh. Don’t you worry. We’re safe, we’re in the safest place,” Khaled said.


“But I heard that the troops are invading the east area of Khan Younis,” I said.

“No, they are still far away. We’re safe. Don’t worry.”

“Ok, do you want anything? Don’t hesitate,” I said.

“That’s so kind of you, Mohammed. No thanks,” Khaled replied.

“Aha, I should go. Keep me posted,” I said.

“Sure, thanks for calling, man,” Khaled said.

“C’mon! You’re my closest friend! It’s my duty to check on you. Don’t say that. Most importantly, take good care of yourself,” I said.


Two days later, I heard the news that Khaled was targeted by an Israeli drone while he was riding his motorcycle.

Khaled Sahmoud was a twenty-year-old student. He was studying mechanical engineering at the Islamic University of Gaza.

Is riding a motorcycle a growing threat?!

Israel will continue its assaults against Palestinians as long as the US continues its support for this systematic injustice program under the observation of a lopsided “international community.”

Palestinians in Gaza are going to continue suffering as long as Israel insists on the what-is-mine-is-mine-and-what-is-yours-is-negotiable principle.

I don’t want condemnations.

I don’t want UN conferences.

I don’t want foreign aid.

“I want my Khaled back,” I say.

Mohammed Matar is a twenty-year-old Palestinian studying English literature at The Islamic University of Gaza.