What is ‘All eyes on Rafah’? Decoding a viral social trend on Israel’s war
May 30, 2024 @ 1:19
An AI generated image with the text ‘All eyes on Rafah’ has been re-shared over 40 million times amid Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s Rafah.An AI generated image with the text ‘All eyes on Rafah’ has been re-shared over 40 million times amid Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s Rafah.

An AI generated image with the text ‘All eyes on Rafah’ has been re-shared over 40 million times amid Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s Rafah.

A student holds a placard as she chants slogans during a protest inside the American University of Beirut to show support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip

By Sarah Shamim

An image with the text “All eyes on Rafah” is on every other Instagram story, dominating social media discourse on Israel’s war on Gaza.

Here’s more about the trend and the image, which has been re-shared on more than 40 million Instagram stories since Monday, a day after Israel’s deadly offensive on Gaza’s Rafah.

What does ‘All eyes on Rafah’ mean?

  • “All eyes on Rafah” is an artificial intelligence (AI) generated image with a slogan calling attention to the situation in Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt.
  • After the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza, Israel began bombing it from the north and moved down, displacing Palestinians from their homes as they fled south to seek shelter.
  • By February, about half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population had been pushed into Rafah when Israel said it planned to launch a ground operation on Rafah, claiming Hamas four brigades, the Palestinian group that governs the Strip, were there.
  • The announcement was condemned worldwide. In February, Richard “Rik” Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the occupied West Bank, said “all eyes” are on the impending Rafah offensive. Ameera Kawash, a UK-based Palestinian-Iraqi-American artist and researcher, whose work explores the effect of AI on Palestinian lives and narratives, told Al Jazeera that “All eyes on Rafah” likely originated from his statement.
  • Since then, the slogan has appeared on protest posters and other social media posts.

What’s happening in Rafah?

On Sunday, two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to halt its offensive on Rafah, Israeli bombardment killed at least 45 people in al-Mawasi in western Rafah, which was previously declared a safe zone.

Another Israeli attack killed 21 in a displacement camp west of Rafah on Tuesday, at least 12 of those killed were women. Air attacks were reported on Wednesday morning.

Israel has killed at least 36,171 people in Gaza since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

What does the ‘All eyes 


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