'All eyes on Rafah' image shared 44 mn times online

A participant holds up a placard during a pro-Palestinian protest in Berlin on May 18 (RALF HIRSCHBERGER)
A participant holds up a placard during a pro-Palestinian protest in Berlin on May 18 (RALF HIRSCHBERGER)

An AI-generated image bearing the words "All eyes on Rafah" has been shared by more than 44 million Instagram accounts since Monday after a deadly Israeli strike at a camp for displaced Palestinians in the Gazan city.

The image depicts densely packed rows of tents stretching endlessly across a desert landscape overshadowed by mountains, alluding to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled there during Israel's military campaign against Hamas.

Chilean-US actor Pedro Pascal, top models Bella and Gigi Hadid, who are of Palestinian descent, and French football star Ousmane Dembele are among the celebrities to have shared it on Instagram.

The slogan "All eyes on Rafah" has also been widely shared in other publications and social networks, especially X, where the hashtag #alleyesonrafah has attracted almost one million hits, according to online monitor Visibrain.

The platform, formerly Twitter, has also seen 27.5 million messages published in three days about the attack on the southern Gazan city bordering Egypt that generated international outrage.

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry said an Israeli strike on the camp that sparked a fire on Sunday killed 45 people and injured 249.

Israel's military said it had targeted and killed two senior Hamas militants, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking of a "tragic accident" that his government was investigating.

The deadliest Gaza war was sparked by Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the Israeli army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,171 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

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