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All Eyes on Rafah: Bollywood Finally Wakes Up to Palestine’s Suffering

Bollywood celebrities have broken their silence on the ongoing crisis in Palestine, particularly in Rafah. The world has been shocked by the images of Palestinian children and families, bloodied and laden with their belongings, fleeing from impending doom. Now, Bollywood actors have joined the global community in condemning the atrocities in Rafah.

The outcry against Israeli atrocities has intensified following an Israeli airstrike that ignited a fire, killing 45 displaced Palestinians in a safe zone. This incident has prompted previously silent celebrities to voice their protest. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, known for her past support for Palestine, expressed her protest by posting the now-viral image of refugee scenes captioned ‘All eyes on Rafah’.

This image has been shared more than 29 million times on Instagram in less than 24 hours, underlining a renewed push on social media to condemn the humanitarian crisis. Other Indian celebrities who have promoted the viral ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ image include Ritika Sajdeh, wife of Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma, and actors Varun Dhawan, Kriti Kharbanda, Bhumi Pednekar, Triptii Dimri, Dia Mirza, Kunal Thakur, Nora Fatehi, Hina Khan, Swara Bhaskar, and Rakul Preet Singh.

Comedian Munawar Faruqui, former tennis player Sania Mirza, and stand-up comedian Vir Das also felt compelled to share the same image. Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh posted the word ‘RAFAH’ on a black background with a broken heart emoji, and actress Malaika Arora wrote the poignant note, “There is no such thing as killing children legally”.

According to experts, the ‘All eyes on Rafah’ image appears to have been created by artificial intelligence and has proven to be a way for social media users to avoid censorship. Images and videos posted by Palestinian journalists depicting the aftermath of the Israeli attack have been restricted or removed from social media for being too graphic. The AI-generated imagery does not depict any violence happening on the ground, but effectively permeates the emotion.

While Indian celebrities have now joined the fray of those condemning the ongoing barbaric attack on Palestinians, many commentators have questioned the conspicuous absence of Bollywood superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. Another user, unmoved by the onslaught of Palestinian support, wrote: “It took them seven months to wake up. It took so many children to be slaughtered and burned alive. In fact, they were waiting to see which way the wind would blow. They were waiting for the moment when their careers would not be affected”.

The Israeli government led by Netanyahu has labeled the air strike as a "tragic mishap". This statement appears to have served as a catalyst for celebrities to spring into action, as the distressing visuals of scorched bodies persistently infiltrate global media.

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