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Why has the Rafah tragedy turned into a viral social media trend?

By Mahima Katal      31 May, 2024 05:34 PM      0 Comments
Why has the Rafah tragedy turned into a viral social media trend

New Delhi: The artificial intelligence generated image ‘All eyes on Rafah’ started doing rounds on social media. The viral image has now been shared over 44 million times on Instagram, on the backdrop of the global outrage against civilian deaths in Israel's offensive against Rafah. 

If you were to open your feed, it is highly likely that you friends must have shared this particular image as well.

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The viral image, which bears the words ‘All eyes on Rafah’, depicts densely packed rows of tents stretching endlessly across a desert landscape overshadowed by mountains, alluding to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled there during Israel's military campaign against Hamas.

The image has been shared primarily through Instagram’s Stories feature, with influencers, athletes and celebrities — including “Bridgerton” star Nicola Coughlan, singer-songwriter Kehlani and one of India’s top actors, Varun Dhawan — posting the image.

Here’s what happened!

An Israeli airstrike on May 26 caused a massive fire killing 45 people in a tent camp in Gaza’s Rafah. According to Israel, the attack was carried out to eliminate Hamas’ chief of staff for the West Bank, along with another official who was behind the attacks on Israelis.

Israel has now countered the "All eyes on Rafah" social media trends with the phrase "What your eyes fail to see". The Netanyahu-led country highlighted the Palestinian militant group Hamas taking Israeli men, women, and children as hostages and keeping them "in horrible conditions".

The Israel Foreign Ministry reposted a tweet made by the Embassy of the State of Israel in India that read: "What your eyes fail to see is the cries of 125 Israeli men, women, children, and elderly currently held hostage by Hamas in horrible conditions deep in the tunnels of Gaza."

Israel had launched the strikes on Sunday despite an order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) directing it to stop its operations in Rafah and withdraw from the enclave. 



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