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All Eyes on Rafah trends on social media as celebrities back Palestine following Israel's latest offensive
All Eyes on Rafah trends on social media. Photo Courtesy: Viral Images on Instagram

All Eyes on Rafah trends on social media as celebrities back Palestine following Israel's latest offensive

| @indiablooms | 29 May 2024, 05:38 pm

An image, presumably created with Artificial Intelligence, has gone viral on social media platforms over the past several hours, aiming to alert people on the plight of Gazans with Islareli forces conducting a massive ground operation in Rafah.

The phrase 'All Eyes on Rafah' is currently flooding the internet with celebrities and common netizens sharing it to stand beside the Palestinians.

With 126,043 posts, the phrase is trending on Instagram like wildfire.

What happened in Rafah?

According to reports, Israeli shelling and airstrikes in Rafah over the weekend left 45 people dead.

Celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Ali Bhatt, and Rashmika Mandanna, among others, joined to voice their support for Palestinians by posting the phase on Instagram along with the trending picture which showed tents in a camp arranged to spell out the words “All Eyes on Rafah".

What is the importance of the social media trend?

“The trend of posting ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ has been something that has been building for a little while,” Matt Navarra, a social media consultant and industry analyst, told NBC News. “We’ve seen quite a lot of influencers and celebrities and widely followed people on multiple platforms, not just Instagram, that are sharing the sentiment of this message or an almost identical version of it, which will amp up the reach and visibility across many platforms.”

Marc Owen Jones, an associate professor of Middle East studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar who studies misinformation, told the news channel that the image “definitely looks” AI-generated.

UN expresses concern 

As fighting continues in Gaza, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday that he was “heartbroken” by images of people killed and injured in airstrikes on Sunday that hit tents sheltering displaced Palestinians in Rafah.

Guterres repeated his longstanding call for a ceasefire in the embattled enclave and the release of all hostages.

“He is heartbroken by the images of the killed and injured, including many small children. As he has said before, the horror and suffering must stop immediately,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General had taken to social media the previous day to condemn “Israel’s actions” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The statement said the UN chief also grieved for the more than 36,000 Palestinians and some 1,500 Israelis killed in the relentless violence.

This includes the “gruesome acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Israel on 7 October 2023, the devastating Israeli assault on Gaza, the continued indiscriminate rocket launches towards Israel.”

He noted that “the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is now compounded by the unconscionable prospect of a man-made famine.”

The UN chief reiterated his demand for an immediate ceasefire, and the immediate and conditional release of all hostages.

“He recalls the recent orders of the International Court of Justice, which are binding and must be complied with,” the statement said.

On Friday, the UN’s top court issued new provisional measures that order Israel to immediately halt military operations in Rafah, located in southern Gaza, which have forced roughly a million people to flee elsewhere.

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