My cousin documented Israel’s crimes

The photographer Mohammad Yaghi. (Photo courtesy of family) 

My aunt Ghada was delighted to learn she was pregnant back in 2001.

When her son was born the following year, he was named Yousef.

I remember we had a celebration – known as an aqiqah – after he arrived. We made food for our extended family and distributed some of it to the poor.

Yousef was quiet.

He loved football and was a big fan of Real Madrid. He enjoyed being a university student.

It is painful to think that Yousef has been killed during Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

My aunt Ghada is now heartbroken. Yousef was killed in February, a victim of Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza.

He was killed in a massacre.

His sisters Nour and Rana were killed, too. So were two of Rana’s children.

My aunt Ghada was in Jordan when the massacre occurred. She was accompanying one of her daughters, who had traveled to Jordan for surgery.

“The Israeli occupation has stolen my happiness,” Ghada said.

Her husband sustained leg and head injuries during the massacre. He is awaiting treatment in Egypt.

I am distressed, too, about how Mohammad Yaghi, another cousin of mine, has been killed.

Mohammad worked as a photographer for a number of international media outlets, including Al Jazeera.

He was killed by Israeli forces attacking the area near Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, southern Gaza. His wife Dania and their 18-month-old daughter Aylol were also killed.

Mohammad had been displaced to Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city. But with Israel threatening a huge offensive against Rafah, he came back to his family’s home in Deir al-Balah.

It was located close to the hospital. Mohammad frequently went to the hospital, where a tent had been set up for journalists.

Yet on the day he was killed in February, he had stayed at home with his family.

Muhammad had documented numerous crimes committed by Israel.

He is among more than 100 journalists who have been killed in the current genocide. To honor them, we must continue documenting Israel’s crimes.

Amjad Ayman Yaghi is a journalist based in Gaza.