Imgur: ‘Gaza looks like actual hell on earth’

The brutality of Israel’s latest invasion on the Gaza Strip is making itself known on Imgur.

Overnight and early into the day, the popular image hosting website’s front page featured a photograph of an air strike on Gaza City. The caption reads, “New photo from Gaza today looks like actual hell on earth”.

Images of all kinds, from photographs to meme sets to animated GIFs, are uploaded to the website. “Imgurians,” members of the Imgur community, interact with the image by ‘upvoting’, ‘downvoting’, and commenting on it.

The website’s most popular images make it to the front page. According to Alexa, which provides traffic data and other information on over 30 million websites, Imgur.com is the 48th most popular website in the world.

So far, at least 1,221 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since July 8. About 200 of the dead are children. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers were killed as well as three civilians.

The past few days have seen some of the harshest conditions yet. An hour-long barrage by the Israeli military nearly wiped out an entire Gaza City neighborhood (see the footage below), and an overnight assault on Gaza City’s Jabalya neighborhood left nearly four dozen dead.

On the day of Eid Al-Fitr, a Muslim celebration marking the end of the month of Ramadan, Israel launched air strikes against Al-Shifa Hospital’s outpatient clinic as well as a park in the Shati Refugee Camp. At least six children were killed in the strike on the park. Israel immediately argued that backfired rockets from Palestinian resistance fighters were responsible for the strikes, but before-and-after surveys of the two scenes as well as a photograph from NBC journalist Ayman Moyheldin, show that the attack was consistent with previous Israeli air strikes.

Israel has so far struck 22 medical facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday, Israel shelled a United Nations school housing children and their parents who had fled from the violence. An UNRWA statement condemning the attack reported that Israel struck the school three separate times. At least 15 Palestinians who had taken refuge in the school were killed, including many children.

This is the sixth time Israel has targeted a UN school, Gunness said. UNRWA had provided coordinates of its various schools throughout the Gaza Strip to Israel seventeen times to ensure the protection of its staff and those who had turned to the schools for shelter.

The shocking Imgur image of the air strike reached its peak at 10 pm yet it is still pulling in views and comments. The image has been viewed over 2.3 million times and over 2,600 comments have been posted. At the time of publication, the image boasts 7,418 points — the cumulative sum of upvotes (7,527) and downvotes (109). Typically, such high point counts are responsible for bringing images to the front page, as they are indicative of an image’s popularity.

Though Imgur’s metrics are not fully understood by the public, many say that the image’s place on Imgur’s front page is a sign that the world is no longer turning a blind eye to the devastation faced by Gaza for years now.

Israel pulled its soldiers and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, although it has maintained complete control over its air space, its sea space, and — in conjunction with the Egyptian government — its borders. A bitter siege and blockade has put the Gaza Strip on the brink of humanitarian collapse, with nearly half of the population’s 1.8 million people depending on food aid and virtually nothing able to get in or out.

Presently, over one million people in Gaza have no access to running water and over 90% of the population has no access to electricity.

The image and the Imgur page are being circulated widely around social media.

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