Israel killed twin brothers, a wedding singer and my childhood friend

Khalid and Salah Jadallah were both killed in an Israeli airstrike. (Via Facebook) 

On 16 October, I got a message from my friend Muaz Said Zaqoul, assuring me he was fine.

My family had evacuated our homes after receiving voice messages and other threats from the Israeli army. We made our way towards Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Muaz and his family decided to remain in Gaza City.

The message I got from Muaz on 16 October was the last one I received from him.

Soon afterwards, I saw press reports about an attack on the Nasser neighborhood, where we had lived in Gaza City. Our home was among those destroyed in the attack.

Before long, I learned that Muaz had been killed along with many others in his family.

Aged 32, Muaz was a software engineer and a fan of Real Madrid. We had been friends since we were 5 years old.

Muaz Said Zaqoul (left) with Amjad Ayman Yaghi

Although he did not have any political affiliations, Muaz was committed to defending Palestinian rights.

That explains why he and his family refused to evacuate.

The Zaqoul family is originally from Huj, a village in historic Palestine that was captured by Zionist forces in 1948.

Muaz and his family did not want to repeat what their grandparents had to do by fleeing their homes.

Ambitious twins

Khalid and Salah Jadallah were twin brothers. They were both killed by Israel in an airstrike on the Sheikh Radwan area of Gaza City.

Khalid and Salah were 28.

They seemed to do almost everything together.

Both studied commerce at Al-Azhar University in Gaza.

They took part in exhibitions beside each other.

They both did charity work.

They were thinking of starting a business together. It would involve trading clothes and fashion accessories between Gaza and the wider world, using the internet.

They both regarded Gaza as beautiful and wanted to stay here rather than emigrate.

Mahmoud al-Jubairi had been my friend since we went to high school.

He loved to sing and had realized his dream of performing in theaters and at weddings.

Mahmoud has been killed in an Israeli airstrike. Many of the people to whom he brought joy at weddings and other celebrations are now mourning his death.

Israel has destroyed my home and its contents. It has taken far too many lives, including the lives of my friends.

I want this war to stop.

Amjad Ayman Yaghi is a journalist based in Gaza.