The United Nations has warned of the possibility of “all out war” in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas as a third consecutive day of violence saw the death toll climb above 70.
World leaders urged both sides to pull back from the edge and Joe Biden, facing his first major foreign policy test as US president, backed Israel and said he was hopeful the trading of airstrikes and rocket fire would end soon, following a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Reacting to news of the conflict, Wonder Woman star Gadot, who served in the Israeli army, tweeted that her “country is at war” and told how her “heart breaks” at the violence.
“Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation,” she tweeted. “Our neighbours deserve the same. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we can live side by side in peace.”
She also noted that the conflict is “a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long”.
Her tweet was criticised for being “propaganda” for Israel and Gadot has since disabled comments on the post. Some supporters argued that Gadot was calling for peace and should not be attacked.
Rihanna, meanwhile, posted on Instagram: “My heart is breaking with the violence I’m seeing displayed between Israel and Palestine! I can’t bare to see it! Innocent Israeli and Palestinian children are hiding in bomb shelters, over 40 lives lost in Gaza alone, at least 13 of whom were also innocent children!"
She added: “There needs to be some kind of resolve! We are sadly watching innocent people fall victim to notions perpetuated by government and extremists, and this cycle needs to be broken!”
The singer was criticised for “pulling the all lives matter card” for what was perceived as her neutral stance.
Supermodel Bella Hadid used her Instagram to express support for Palestinians.
“Future generations will look back in disbelief and wonder how we allowed the Palestinian suffering to continue for so long. A human tragedy unfolding right in front of our eyes,” she posted. “Politicians stutter neutral words in fear of being reprimanded, whilst the world remains silent to avoid offending the wrong people.
“History has taught us to speak up. You are either on the right side or you are not. It’s that simple.”
Dua Lipa shared Hadid’s posts on her Instagram Stories in support of Palestinians.
The Weeknd reportedly shared artwork on his Instagram Story with the words “protect Jerusalem” in support of Palestinians who have been displaced, and Game of Thrones star Lena Headey is reported to have shared an image of a Palestinian girl waving a flag.
The cross- border fighting is the crescendo to weeks of tensions that have simmered chiefly in the contested city of Jerusalem, that was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and effectively annexed later.
Violence between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces have centred around the Old City home to Temple Mount or Haram Ash-Sharif, the heart of the decades’ long conflict.
It reached breaking point after a controversial decision by Israel to evict four Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem in place of Israeli settlers.
The UN has said this order may amount to war crimes, and protests by Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel rolled out across the country, East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
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