'All Eyes on Rafah' picture set to become one of the most shared images ever

'All Eyes on Rafah' picture set to become one of the most shared images ever
‘All eyes on Rafah’ AI-image goes viral on social media
Aljazeera / VideoElephant

After Israel launched an attack on a Rafah refugee camp that killed 45 people on 26 May, millions turned to social media to note that the world is watching.

The airstrike on the last designated "safe zone" was called a "tragic mishap" by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Israel's seven-month assault on Gaza following the Hamas attack on 7 October.

"Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night there was a tragic mishap," Netanyahu said on Monday to Israel’s parliament. "We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy."

An image with the slogan 'All Eyes on Rafah' has since been widespread across Instagram including from the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid, Priyanka Chopra and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan.

Shayan Sardarizadeh, journalist at BBC Verify, claimed it is the "most viral AI-generated image I've ever seen," with 44 million reshares and counting.

Despite becoming a globally recognised picture, many have slammed the obscure image for taking away from the realities of what is happening. Some have even called reshares "performative," especially from those who have remained silent over the last few months.

"Watching people who haven’t said a word in 8 months post an AI generated image of Rafah and immediately going about their day I feel like I’m going insane," one person quipped, while another added: "Palestinians have to record and document everything they’re enduring in Rafah just so the world believes them so to reshare an AI generated template is sooooooo weird actually."

A third wrote: "That AI 'All Eyes on Rafah' story template is so stupid like BLM black square levels of Instagram performatism, it communicates nothing! If you’re gonna limit your activism to social media at least post something with information or images of what’s actually happening there."


The months-long slogan appears to have originated off the back of a comment from Rick Peeperkorn, director of the World Health Organisation’s Office of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In February, he made the statement after Netanyahu ordered an evacuation plan ahead of planned attacks.

Since then, organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children, Americans for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace have echoed the statement.

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