Childhood is one of the victims of repeated Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip (Getty Images)

Farah recalls her painful journey from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip, where her family sought refuge from Israeli aggression. There, from the very first moment she was born, Farah lived in the world's largest open-air prison.

This is how journalist Hala Safadi began her article – published by Middle East Eye – to narrate the tragedy of the people of Gaza represented by this 12-year-old little girl.

Safadi recounts that she cannot believe that this girl, despite her young age, lived through the horrors of 3 Israeli wars on Gaza, and became more aware of the war than she knew about peace.

Farah follows the news, knows the names of Palestinian and Israeli politicians, and has studied the Fourth Geneva Convention and the laws of war. Even the scenes she describes can fill any child's heart with fear and sadness, but not a heart of joy.

Today, Farah seems indifferent to the constant horrors. This is the case for many children in Gaza whose sights have become frighteningly normal.

Farah recounts how their house was bombed, but she doesn't remember the exact date, she no longer knows the days of the week, and all she knows is that they were in a war that has been going on for two months now.

She says she used to live near al-Quds Hospital in the Tel al-Hawa area of Gaza. Her father decided that everyone should go to the hospital, believing it would be safe.

At first, they were unable to go south because her father had nowhere to stay, and they were scared anyway after seeing videos of people killed by occupation soldiers fleeing. Some of those they knew from the north also died in the south.

Horrific experience

Farah recounts that the experience of living in the hospital was horrible, that she felt as if she was waiting to die, and that everyone there was scared. She said she slept with her 16-year-old sister in upstairs corridors with women, while her father and brother stayed on the ground floor with the men.

The night was the most terrifying time, especially when the occupation army began shelling the vicinity of the hospital.

Farah says that one night Israeli tanks began to surround the hospital and no one could sleep for a second. As soon as a young girl peeked out of the window, an Israeli sniper shot her, killed her, and she died in front of everyone.

Farah commented that this was the first time she had seen someone die in front of her. The mother of the martyr child was screaming all night, and no one dared to approach the window again. That night she cried more than ever.

Farah says they studied everything about the Palestinian Nakba in 1948. They watched films about the expulsion and killing of Palestinians. They learned of the massacres that took place in the villages. And she felt that she was now living these same stories in reality.

Sadly, she commented, their story was a history lesson. Will I be like these grandmothers and tell my grandchildren how we had to flee our cities because they were killing us?

Burning cars

Farah goes on to tell her story that they were finally allowed out of the hospital. As morning rose, they took Salah al-Din Street with hundreds, as ordered by Israeli soldiers. They walked a long time from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon.

She felt that her heart would stop at any moment of fatigue. Sometimes she would close her eyes as she walked in the hope that what was happening might have been a dream rather than a reality. But she also wanted to keep her eyes open, in case soldiers shot her father or brother.

Israeli warplanes bombed Khan Yunis and the camps of "Nuseirat" and "Al-Bureij" (Anatolia)

A journey of suffering

At one point in the journey of suffering, Israeli soldiers detained two young men, apparently chose them randomly, ordered them at gunpoint to undress, except for underwear, and let one of them return and take the other. They didn't know what had happened to him, and his family kept crying all the way. Here, Farah's concerns about the arrest of her father or brother grew.

As if that suffering was not enough, Israel set up security checkpoints and ordered everyone to pass through a detector using facial scanning technology. She feared that one of them would be shot, as two soldiers tried to provoke them by saying, "Thank us and thank Hamas for that." But people continued to urge each other to ignore their screams in order to get to safety.

Farah said the more they walked, the more bodies they saw on the road. She saw a woman lying next to a small child. Some of the bodies were covered in blankets. There were also burned cars with burned bodies inside.

As soon as they set foot in the Gaza Valley, dozens of Palestinians were waiting for them and told them they were now safe. And they gave them juices and chocolate cakes.

Farah sat on the ground and couldn't move for a while. She hugged her father a lot and started crying. Her father told her she had to be strong, and she then got up and walked to a UN school.

Source : Middle East Eye