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Dulquer Salman, Keerthy Suresh join chorus with ‘All Eyes on Rafah’

Dulquer Salman, Keerthy Suresh join chorus with ‘All Eyes on Rafah’

Indian celebrities seldom respond to happenings in the political arena lest they be towed to any political baggage. But the Israeli attack on Gaza has been fuming almost all quarters with the apprehension of violating human rights since the attack began.

The Israeli air force attack on a refugee camp in Gaza’s Rafah on May 26, literally burning alive human beings, including women and children, resulting in the deaths of at least 45 people and injuring over 300, has drawn significant international condemnation and a viral social media campaign under the banner “All Eyes on Rafah.”

Indian actors, including Dulquer Salman, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Keerthy Suresh, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, and Vijay Verma, joined the chorus of voices condemning the attack, according to a report published in The News Minute.

They shared an AI-generated image on Instagram that depicted the dire situation in Rafah, where Israeli tanks and military forces surrounded displaced people's tents. This image has been shared over 33 million times on Instagram stories alone, amplifying the global call for attention and action.

The phrase “All Eyes on Rafah” gained traction following a comment by Dr. Rick Peeperkorn, Director of the WHO’s Office of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in February 2024. Dr. Peeperkorn had warned that an attack on Rafah, amid escalating tensions and the influx of over 1.5 million refugees, would be an “unfathomable catastrophe.” His prediction sadly became a reality with the recent airstrike.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees, approximately one million people have fled to Rafah in the past three weeks alone. This mass displacement was spurred by Israel's declaration of Rafah as a designated safe zone in the southern Gaza Strip. Despite this designation, the conditions in Rafah have been dire, with ongoing bombardments, severe shortages of food and water, and deteriorating living conditions.

The UNRWA has described the situation in Gaza as “hell on earth,” stressing that there is no safe place left in the Gaza Strip. The agency called for an immediate ceasefire, emphasizing that no one is safe, including civilians and aid workers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the tragedy by labelling the airstrike a “tragic mistake.” He stated that Israel is investigating to determine how the incident occurred despite their efforts to avoid civilian casualties. However, this assurance has done little to quell the outrage and demands for accountability from the international community.

Reports indicate that Israel has been conducting an offensive on Rafah for the past two weeks, justifying the operation as essential for defeating Hamas. However, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to cease its offensive operations in Rafah on May 24. Despite this ruling, Israel continued its attacks, resulting in over 60 deaths since May 25.

The Gaza Government Media Office reported that Israel dropped seven 900 kg bombs and missiles on the displacement camp. In contrast, the Israeli military claimed that their attack utilized “precision munitions” and that a nearby fuel tank ignited, causing civilian casualties. It is significant to note that the Israeli military did not issue a warning for civilians to evacuate before the airstrike.

As of May 28, Israeli tanks were reported in the heart of Rafah, specifically in the Yibna and Shaboura refugee camps, and Israeli aircraft continued bombing the city. Additionally, there were reports of homes in the city centre being attacked with heavy machine gun fire.

The international community, spurred by widespread social media activism and statements from various humanitarian organizations, continues to call for a ceasefire and an end to the violence.

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TAGS:BollywoodGenocideIsrael Palestine ConflictIsrael War on Gaza
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