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All eye on Rafah: Israel countered with ‘what your eyes fail to see’


Are you also part of the ‘all eyes on Rafah‘ social media trend? Recent counter-action of ISRAEL on rafah has erupted in a new debate of condemning Israel or not. On 7 Oct 2023, Israel was brutally attacked by the Hamas terror group, women, children, and men were butchered and raped. So it was very obvious of counteraction from Israel. Many reports suggest that Israel has wiped out Palestine from the map in this Israel hamas war.

Recently, Israel started a significant attack in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, aimed at Hamas officials and terrorists. Israel has countered the narrative with the phrase “What your eyes fail to see,” highlighting Palestinian militant group Hamas’s alleged hostage-taking of Israeli civilians. So, let’s be ready to look at the Middle East’s complex reality.

What Happened in the Rafah?

In early May, Israel launched a major offensive in rafah, a city in southern Gaza, targeting Hamas leaders and militants. The strikes came after Hamas allegedly launched rocket attacks into central Israel. At least 45 Palestinian civilians were killed and 200 injured in the bombing of Israel hamas war. It ignited a massive fire at a camp housing displaced people.

The United Nations had warned that up to 1.4 million Palestinians were sheltering before the offensive began. Since then, around 1 million people have fled the area, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Israel had carried out the strikes despite an order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt its operations and withdraw from Gaza.

How Does Israel Justify the Rafah Offensive?

The Israeli government has justified its offensive as a response to Hamas’s hostage-taking of Israeli civilians. The Israel Foreign Ministry retweeted a post by its Indian embassy stating: “What your eyes fail to see” is the cries of 125 Israeli men, women, children, and elderly currently held hostage by Hamas in horrible conditions deep in the tunnels of Gaza.”

Israel claims that around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, died in surprise Hamas attacks across Israel on October 7 last year. According to Israel, militants took 252 hostages then, 121 of whom remain captive in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to surrender until “each and every one of the hostages is home.” He warned that surrendering would “deliver a great victory to terrorism, to Iran, and the entire axis of evil.”

What is the ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ Campaign About?

The recent attack of Israel on Hamas-based terror outfits has erupted a new debate in global media. The “all eyes on rafah” image that is circulating on social media is not real, but rather fake. However, the phrase has become a rallying cry to condemn Israel’s actions and express solidarity with Palestinians there.

Iran’s embassy in India posted that the phrase refers to the “ongoing genocide in rafah, Gaza, with over 1.4 million Palestinians seeking shelter.” Hashtags like #AllEyesOnRafah and #RafahOnFire have trended as users decry the civilian toll of Israel’s bombardment.

Israel has firmly denied intentionally targeting the tent camps, calling any fire there “unexpected and unintended.” An IDF spokesperson said, “Our investigation seeks to determine what may have caused such a large fire to ignite.”

Differing Narratives and Scales of Suffering

The “all eyes on rafah” and “What your eyes fail to see” narratives put forth starkly differing perspectives on the conflict and suffering involved. Palestinian supporters condemn what they view as disproportionate. Indiscriminate Israeli military campaign causing mass civilian displacement and deaths.

Israel, on the other hand, portrays its offensive as a reluctant but necessary response to Hamas’s attacks and hostage-taking of Israeli civilians. By highlighting the “unseen” captives in Gaza, Israel attempts to reframe the discourse around its own citizens’ suffering and security threats from militants.

The sheer scales being claimed by each side seem vastly divergent as well. While Israeli cities over 1,200 killed in initial Hamas raids. Palestinian sources report just dozens of civilians dead from the bombardment so far. Independently verifying such tolls amid the fog of active urban warfare remains extremely difficult.

Is Israel’s Rafah Operations Legal?

Human rights lawyers have asked questions on whether or not Israel’s operations were legal about the principles of proportionality and precaution that are set by international humanitarian laws. Though the ICJ’s order to stop the operations was equally legal, the coherence of the order in practice cannot be confirmed.

Israel has consistently claimed that it uses extraordinary caution and does what it can to avoid civilian casualties. Some humanitarian organizations have alleged that it has not done enough to prevent such a loss of life since it possesses superior firepower and technology.

For its part, Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization by most of the Western countries, has also faced severe criticism for its practice of firing rockets at populated areas in Israel and for hiding behind civilians.

Historical Context and Cycle of Violence

The intense fighting and civilian suffering cannot be fully grasped without understanding the long, bloody history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The current escalation is merely the latest eruption in over 100 years of contestation over land, nationhood, and human rights between the two peoples.

For Palestinians, rafah exemplifies the harsh realities and recurring trauma of life under Israeli military occupation since 1967. The city’s proximity to the fenced and blockaded Gaza Strip boundary has made its people frequent victims of economic strangulation and bombings during recurring Israel-Hamas conflagrations over the years.

Some historians and analysts trace the conflict’s core drivers to the violent struggle around the founding of Israel in 1948 and unresolved grievances over refugees, settlements, and Jerusalem’s status. Others point to the mutual denial of rights and dignity as lying at the heart of the failure to secure a lasting peace accord guaranteeing both peoples’ nationalist visions.

What Are the Geopolitical Dimensions?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. MK Gandhi rightly said this during India’s independence movement. This context may not completely align with current Israel action on rafah but it holds significant relevance in this geopolitical conflict around the globe. 

Some of the countries that have peace agreements with Israel, like Egypt and Jordan, have called for the cessation of hostilities and have expressed their willingness to facilitate temporary ceasefires. However, their failure to openly condemn Israel reveals the nuanced geopolitical realities in the region. Apart from this, the Israel hamas war may push world towards new global conflicts.


Which one is more credible for the portrayal of the scale of suffering and which side of the conflict the Israeli force is seen as either an overreaction or justified self-defense may vary. It is presented by the heated discussions on social media platforms where opinions on this seemingly unsolvable conflict of Israel hamas war remain divided across the globe.


Q. What is Rafah in Islam?

A. It was one of the cities taken by the Rashidun army led by General ‘Amr ibn al-‘As in 635 CE, and it later became an important commercial hub during the Early Muslim period.

Q. Who posted All Eyes on Rafah?

A. This sentence was shared by several people, including celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Tripti Dimri, and Richa Chadha. Ritika Sajdeh, Rohit Sharma’s wife, too posted the famous remark but subsequently removed it after being trolled.

Q. How small is Rafah?

A. The Rafah Governorate, the southernmost of the Gaza governorates, covers 64 square kilometers (25 square miles). Before the conflict began, it was the home for 275,267 Palestinians.

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