Celebrities take a stand and call for solidarity with Palestine
Celebrities have been vocal about the violence that erupted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Palestine after Israeli forces attacked Palestinians who had gathered to pray on the night of Lailatul Qadr. Subsequent protests against the attack saw a rise in Israeli defence forces' violence against Palestinians.
At least 215 Palestinians were hurt in the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, including 153 who were hospitalised, Palestinian medics said. Four of the injured were in serious condition.
The issue resurfaced after a protest held against Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah were being forced out of their homes to make way for more Israeli settlements and were attacked by Israeli forces. The Israeli forces also stormed the hospitals the Palestinians were rushed to, injuring medical staff and leaving people with nowhere to go.
People around the world have been speaking up about the attack and calling on world leaders to do something.
Model Bella Hadid took to her Instagram to protest the injustice. She said she couldn't believe the "hate in the heart of people" against Palestinians.
"Palestine cannot be erased," she said, adding that she was proud to be Palestinian. Hadid's father is of Palestinian origin and she and her family, including sister Gigi Hadid, have been vocal about the plight of Palestinians in the past.
“My sisters and I, we speak in a family group chat every day. Mostly about Palestine and all that goes on. It is so hard to put into words how I feel,” she added.
“I feel the pain of my ancestors. I cry for them. I cry for my Palestinian brothers and sisters, there now, feeling unsafe and scared. This needs to stop, there is no room for this in 2021! My sister Alana wrote perfectly how I feel today. We are proud to be Palestinian and we stand with Palestine,” Hadid said.
Actor Sami Khan was speechless, calling the issue unacceptable.
Singer Asim Azhar was disgusted at both incidents as well as the deafening silence from celebrities and the international community as a whole.
"I am sickened and disgusted," he posted. "How can you attack a place of a worship and attack defenceless worshippers?" the Jo Tu Na Mila singer asked, disappointed that not enough people across the world were speaking up.
"And yet again, the world will stay silent on Israel’s continuous oppression on Palestine. Ya Allah reham!" he wrote.
Feroze Khan extended his support by spreading awareness and participating in the Twitter trend 'Israeli Attack on Al-Aqsa'.
Singer Farhan Saeed called a spade a spade, appalled at how people were staying quiet in the face of blatant terrorism.
"The world's deafening silence is criminal! How can the international community sit back and watch this happen? This is terrorism!" he posted, sharing a graphic video of peaceful Palestinians being attacked by Israeli forces who fired sound bombs and tear gas inside the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, trapping worshippers.
Naimal Khawar asked people to put themselves in the shoes of the victims.
"Imagine this happening to you! To your brother, husband, mother, to your children! How would you feel?" she questioned. "Please share as much as you can. Palestine needs us to speak up right now!"
British singer Dua Lipa also expressed solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah. In a story on Instagram, the No Rules singer called for Sheikh Jarrah to be saved.
If you're wondering about what connection Sheikh Jarrah has with the terrorism attack at Al-Aqsa, the following video is a great summary of events, explaining the history and acting as a great resource to educate yourself on the matter.
According to Al-Jazeera, Israeli border guards have, during the past few days, used skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades to disperse sit-ins held in support of the families facing eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.