What is 'All Eyes on Rafah'? Why is it Trending?

29 May 2024  Read 1407 Views

With the ongoing war between Palestine and Israel, Israel attacked Rafah, which houses almost half of the population of Palestine. The air strike killed at least 45 and injured 200 more people, including children, women and senior citizens, who were in a refugee camp housing in Gaza’s Rafah, set up for displaced people. 

This incident happened just days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its operations in Rafah. The attack led to international outrage, increasing Israel's global isolation over the war in Gaza.

Keep reading to learn about this campaign, why it is trending on social media, who coined this term and other details. 

What is the #AllEyesOnRafah Campaign?

'All Eyes on Rafah' is a phrase that refers to the ongoing conflict in this Gaza city. The phrase is trending on social media as people worldwide show their support for Palestinians affected by Israeli strikes. 

Several celebrities have posted messages with the hashtag #AllEyesOnRafah. The phrase has gained popularity as a call for awareness of the ongoing war.

What's Happening in Rafah?

Rafah was a major entry point for humanitarian aid before Israel increased its military actions on the Gaza side of the border earlier this month, taking control of the crossing. 

The fighting in Rafah has caused more than 10 lakh Palestinians to flee, many of whom were already displaced by the war between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian political and militant group struggling to govern the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians say they are vulnerable to Israeli attacks wherever they go and have been moving up and down the Gaza Strip in recent months. When Israeli forces told people in the north to evacuate before conducting operations in central Gaza and the southern city of Khan Yunis, hundreds of thousands fled south to Rafah. 

Humanitarian groups warn of a worsening crisis in Gaza after the fighting in Rafah cut off the main aid routes into the territory.

For more clarity about conflicts between Palestine and Israel, you should read this blog.

Where did 'All Eyes on Rafah' Come From?

The campaign's origins can be traced back to a statement by Dr. Rick Peeperkorn, the director of the World Health Organization's Office of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, who said in February, "All eyes are on Rafah." This was shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered an evacuation plan for the city, ahead of planned attacks to eliminate what he claimed were the last remaining strongholds of Hamas.

Why is 'All Eyes on Rafah' Trending?

It has become a rallying cry at protests around the world, urging bystanders not to look away from what's happening in Rafah, where roughly 14 lakh people are sheltering after being displaced by ongoing Israeli bombardment on Gaza.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's offensive, according to Gaza's health ministry. Israel launched its air and ground war after Hamas-led militants attacked southern Israeli communities on 7 October, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

How the Image Spread

Support groups like Save the Children, Oxfam, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have also adopted the slogan. On social media, the hashtag #AllEyesOnRafah has garnered over 195,000 posts with millions of views. It was also trending on Instagram on Tuesday, with nearly 1 lakh additional posts on the platform.

The image has been shared over 290 lakh times on Instagram in less than 24 hours.

Criticism of 'All Eyes on Rafah' Posts

Activists have criticized the use of an AI-generated image, questioning why it is used instead of real and often distressing footage from Gaza. They argue that the image doesn't do much to inform the public of what is happening on the ground and have urged people to share videos or photos by Palestinian journalists, many of whom are risking their lives to document the war.

Conclusion

"All Eyes on Rafah" is a call to the global community to pay attention to the humanitarian crisis in Rafah and support the Palestinians affected by the ongoing conflict. The phrase emphasises the need for awareness and action to address the severe conditions faced by the people in Gaza.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 59 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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