'Hope Slogan Stops the Genocide': Palestinian Ambassador on 'All Eyes on Rafah'

The slogan 'All Eyes on Rafah' has been trending after Israel's recent strikes in the city killing 45 civilians.

4 min read
Hindi Female

Amid unrelenting strikes and ground offensives conducted by Israel in Gaza, the months-old slogan "All Eyes on Rafah" has come into focus across social media platforms with renewed vigour.

The slogan, shared by millions of people online since Tuesday, 28 May, is a medium to express solidarity with the 1.4 million Palestinians who have taken shelter in the Gaza Strip's Rafah city after having fled from attacks by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in other parts of the region. It is also a plea to bystanders to not look away from the alleged atrocities in Palestine.

"We encourage the initiative 'All Eyes on Rafah' and we call on all the people in the world to support this campaign against Israel's extremist government," Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al-Hija said while speaking to The Quint.

"We hope that the slogan might stop this genocide against the Palestinian people in Rafah and Gaza," he added.

The phrase and the campaign associated with it were triggered by Israel's latest strikes in Rafah on Sunday, 26 May, which led to the deaths of at least 45 civilians. The outrage further escalated after the IDF on Tuesday, 28 May allegedly obliterated a refugee camp in al-Mawasi – labelled as a designated "safe zone" by Israel itself – which led to at least 21 civilian casualties.

"The massacre in the refugee camps near Rafah and al-Mawasi, which had been announced by the Israelis as secured places, led to the killing of civilians – most of whom were women, children, and senior citizens," Abu Al-Hija told The Quint.

The deadly attack came just days after the International Court of Justice directed the Benjamin Netanyahu government to cease its operations in Rafah – which has caused global uproar and warnings from even some of Israel's closest allies, including the US.

Origins of the Slogan 'All Eyes on Rafah'

The slogan 'All Eyes on Rafah' purportedly originated when Rick Peeperkorn, Director of the World Health Organization’s Office of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, used the phrase days after Israel ordered the creation of an evacuation plan for the city ahead of planned offensives to destroy the "remaining strongholds" of the Palestinian militia Hamas.

"All eyes are on Rafah," Peeperkorn had said in February this year, warning that Israel's plans would create a "humanitarian disaster beyond all imagination."

The slogan has since been used as a "rallying cry" by pro-Palestine protesters in the US and across Europe. It has also been helmed by several non-profits, including Oxfam, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Save the Children, and Jewish Voice for Peace in pursuit of calling for an end to the war.

The phrase is accompanied by a picture on social media platforms – purportedly AI-generated – which shows the words 'All Eyes on Rafah' spelt out using tents to highlight the dire humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

The slogan 'All Eyes on Rafah' has been trending after Israel's recent strikes in the city killing 45 civilians.

The picture with the hashtag #AllEyesOnRafah has been shared a staggering 41 million times on Instagram in the last 24 hours.

Indian celebrities are among the lakhs of people who have shared the hashtag, expressing solidarity with Palestine. These include Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Varun Dhawan, Tripti Dimrii, Richa Chadha, Dia Mirza, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Dulquer Salmaan, and Rashmika Mandanna among others.

International celebrities Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid also took to social media to express solidarity with Gazans.


Israel's Reaction To Outrage Over Latest Gaza Strikes

Amid global outrage over the killing of civilians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, 27 May, that a "tragic mishap" had occurred with Israel's strike on Rafah.

"Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night there was a tragic mishap," the prime minister said on Monday while addressing the Israeli Parliament. "We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy," he added.

While Netanyahu expressed regret over the strikes in Rafah, Israel's military denied any involvement in Tuesday's attacks in al-Mawasi that led to at least 21 civilian deaths.

"Contrary to the reports from the last few hours, the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) did not strike in the Humanitarian Area in Al-Mawasi," the military said in a statement on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Despite applying pressure on Israel in the last few weeks to prevent civilian casualties, the Joe Biden government said that the IDF's strikes in Rafah had not crossed any "red lines" delineated by the US.

Earlier this month Biden had warned Israel of reduced weapons supplies if the IDF were to enter "population centres" of Rafah – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are believed to be taking shelter.

"We have said we don't want to see a major ground operation in Rafah that would really make it hard for the Israelis to go after Hamas without causing extensive damage and potentially a large number of deaths. We have not seen that yet. We have not seen them smash into Rafah," White House spokesperson John Kirby said while speaking to the press on Tuesday.

He also added that Israel's attacks were mostly in a corridor on the outskirts of Rafah."Israelis have said this is a tragic mistake," he said, adding, "The US doesn't have a measuring stick here or a quota."

Over 36,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 81,000 wounded since Israel's offensive began in Gaza in October last year, according to the region's health ministry. The death toll from Hamas' attacks in Israel stands at 1,139.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and world

Topics:  Gaza   Hamas   Israel Palestine 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More