Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip and rocket attacks by the ruling group Hamas this week mark the biggest outbreak since Israel’s seven-week war on Gaza in 2014.
Israeli shelling has killed at least 83 Palestinians in Gaza, including 17 children, since Monday, according to the coastal enclave’s health ministry.
Seven people were also killed in Israel, which on Thursday accused Hamas of launching more than 1,600 rockets.
The conflict has grabbed the international news agenda and led to global calls for de-escalation.
It has also caught the attention of prominent public figures and celebrities, including Palestinian-Dutch models Bella and Gigi Hadid, singer Rihanna, Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
Their comments drew mixed reactions online, with many criticizing Gadot for pushing Israeli “propaganda”, and some criticizing Rihanna for taking a seemingly neutral stance.
Here are some of those positions:
Bella Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, posted a message of support for the Palestinians on her Instagram account, which at the time of publication had been liked by more than one million users.
“Future generations will look back in disbelief and wonder how we have allowed Palestinian suffering to continue for so long. A human tragedy unfolding before our eyes, ”said the 24-year-old journalist.
“Politicians stammer neutral words for fear of reprimand, while the world remains silent to avoid offending the wrong people. History has taught us to speak. You are on the safe side or not. It is that simple. “
A Twitter user commented, while sharing a screenshot of Hadid’s post: “Everyone should talk about what’s going on in Palestine.”
Another said: “Miss Bella Hadid – one of the highest paid models can do publications and raise awareness about Palestine, but your favorite Muslim influencers can’t because of a L brand deal.” Oreal lol.
Bella’s sister Gigi also posted on Instagram in support of Palestine.
Miss Bella Hadid – one of the highest paid models can do posts and raise awareness about Palestine, but your favorite Muslim influencers can’t because of a L’Oreal brand deal lol
– meredith grey stan (@plsitsnotme) May 12, 2021
Malala Yousafzai tweeted a video expressing her “solidarity with the Palestinian people”.
“A Palestinian child should be sitting in a classroom, not in the rubble,” Yousafzai, 23, wrote in a message accompanying his video.
“World leaders must act immediately to protect the human rights of Palestinians.”
A Palestinian child should be sitting in a classroom, not in the rubble.
World leaders must act immediately to protect the human rights of Palestinians. pic.twitter.com/6BLQq58D4H
– Malala (@Malala) May 12, 2021
British actor Riz Ahmed was among those who shared another of Yousafzai’s tweets, which contained a UNICEF report on the effects on Palestinian children.
The violence in Jerusalem – especially against children – is unbearable. This long conflict has claimed the lives of many children and their futures. Leaders must act immediately – there is no peace when children and civilians are not safe. #AlAqsa https://t.co/bLv3XyA1OV
– Malala (@Malala) May 10, 2021
British musician Zayn Malik also shared a UNICEF report with his 31 million followers, informing them of Palestinian children who have been killed in the conflict.
– zayn (@zaynmalik) May 12, 2021
American actress and activist Susan Sarandon has tweeted several times in support of Palestine.
In an article, she said: “Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who are facing ethnic cleansing and terrorized by the Israeli government and Jewish settler organizations. THE WORLD IS WATCHING. “
– Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) May 12, 2021
– Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) May 12, 2021
Gal Gadot, who had previously served in the Israeli army, said Israel was “at war,” adding that it “deserved to live as a free and secure nation.”
“Our neighbors deserve the same,” the 36-year-old actor said in a Twitter post.
“I pray for the victims and their families. I pray that this unimaginable hostility will end, I pray that our leaders find the solution so that we can live side by side in peace.
His comments drew a barrage of criticism.
“She can’t even say the Palestinian word,” one Twitter user commented, referring to Gadot’s post.
Gigi and Bella Hadid really stole the show while trying to raise awareness about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians regardless of their careers. Then there’s Gal Gadot, a shame for everything Wonder Woman is meant to stand for.
– Asad Shahbaz 🇵🇸 (@Asadthesad) May 12, 2021
Rihanna, who has spoken out on other issues such as police brutality in the United States and Nigeria, and farmer protests in India, condemned the “violence.”
“My heart breaks with the violence I see displayed between Israel and Palestine!” the 33-year-old posted on Instagram.
“I can’t bear to see it!” Innocent Israeli and Palestinian children are hiding in bomb shelters, over 40 lives have been lost in Gaza alone, of which at least 13 were also innocent children!
She added, “There must be some sort of resolution! We sadly watch innocent people fall victim to notions perpetuated by the government and extremists, and this cycle must be broken!
But the musician’s comments have been criticized by some on social media.
“Hi @rihanna. The Palestinians do not have bomb shelters – we have no protection. There is no shelter. Palestinians in Gaza have nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. The Palestinians have no army, no nuclear weapons, we are not funded by billions of US dollars. Happy to chat, ”one tweeted.
Hey @rihanna The Palestinians do not have bomb shelters – we have no protection. There is no shelter. Palestinians in Gaza have nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. The Palestinians have no army, no nuclear weapons, we are not funded by billions of US dollars. Happy to chat https://t.co/Iq3onP7wcc
– Jennine #SaveSheikhJarrah (@jennineak) May 13, 2021
Another Twitter user said: “Rihanna has stated that I support humanity while choosing to remain neutral on this matter. How many times do we have to say that Palestine is the oppressed and not the oppressor? ”