“All eyes on Rafah”: social media’s plea amid Gaza violence

The words "All eyes on Rafah" are bouncing everywhere on Instagram stories: it is a social appeal to stop the violence that is being perpetrated on the cities and more generally for a ceasefire on the Gaza Strip

A slogan, “All eyes on Rafah“, is sweeping across social media, particularly on Instagram stories, propelled by the “Your Turn” feature that trends a photo or post already shared by others. But what is it about? These words symbolically aim to halt the atrocities currently unfolding in Gaza. As Israel intensifies its military operations in the southern Gaza Strip, the focus has shifted to Rafah, now a critical point of international concern.

Rafah: a city under siege

Rafah, located on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, has witnessed a significant escalation of violence in recent weeks. For the first time, Israeli tanks have moved into the city center, raising fears of further violence and suffering for the civilian population.

Eyewitnesses have reported tanks and armored vehicles equipped with machine guns near key landmarks in Rafah. The Israeli military has confirmed its forces are operating in the area but has refrained from commenting on specific advancements.

The aftermath in Rafah

The city has been bombarded by airstrikes and tank shells, pushing the offensive despite international protests. A recent attack ignited a massive fire in a tent city designated as a humanitarian zone, killing at least 45 Palestinians. This incident has sparked global outrage, with many leaders expressing horror over the attack in an area where displaced families had sought refuge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now under increasing international pressure to halt the assault on Rafah. With over a million people displaced to Rafah due to fighting in other areas of the Gaza Strip, a large-scale offensive would entail enormous humanitarian risks. The Gaza Health Ministry reports that more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, underscoring the severity of the situation.

Social media’s role in the crisis

Thus, social media is doing its part, spreading the alarm about the situation in southern Gaza through this viral trend. “All eyes on Rafah” has become a global humanitarian call to action. It is an invitation to users worldwide to denounce what is happening in Rafah, in hopes of stopping the violence and protecting civilians trapped in the conflict. The image encountered is a sort of digital reconstruction made with artificial intelligence of what remains after Israel’s attacks on Rafah, viewed from above, where some tents of the refugee camp are arranged to form the words “All eyes on Rafah.” In essence, these words demand one thing: the end of the Israeli army’s attacks and a ceasefire across the Gaza Strip.

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