David Beckham joins celebrities calling for Gaza ceasefire

David Beckham is seen arriving at “Good Morning America” on May 16, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

English football icon David Beckham has joined mounting calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza, after sharing a post on his Instagram account on Tuesday.

Beckham, 49, reposted a statement by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on his Instagram Story, urging for a ceasefire.

Beckham endorsed the words of UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell to denounce the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza and its brutal escalation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The statement referenced Sunday’s deadly strike on a displacement camp which killed at least 45 civilians in the Tal-al-Sultan area, northwest of Rafah, including women, children and elderly people. 

Many of the victims were burned to death as fires started by the Israeli bombardment ripped through the tents people were sheltering in. 

The strike also wounded hundreds of civilians and drew worldwide condemnation

“The images of burned children and families emerging from bombed tents in Rafah shocks us all. The reported killing of children sheltering in makeshift tents is unconscionable,” Russell said in the statement. 

Russell also condemned the “tragedy” that has unfolded in over seven months of Israeli attacks across the besieged territory, adding that “there must be an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and an end to the senseless killing of children.”

Israel’s offensive has totally devastated the Gaza Strip and killed at least 36,096 people, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry. The death toll is likely to be much higher because thousands of victims remain trapped under rubble

Beckham, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005, had not commented before on the Gaza War.

His previous silence on the war on Gaza and the plight of Palestinian children marked a stark difference from his past work in aiding children in other conflicts.

In March 2022, Beckham handed over the reins of his official Instagram account to a Ukrainian doctor who was working in the city of Kharkiv, following the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

His account saw firsthand reports on how the conflict affected Ukrainian women and children. 

This was followed by the football legend and wife Victoria Beckham donating £1 million to a UNICEF appeal to support Ukrainian children affected by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Beckham’s daughter-in-law Nicola Peltz, the daughter of Jewish billionaire Nelson Peltz, is a vocal pro-Zionist who has constantly shared posts in support of Israel since 7 October, and some social media users drew links between this and Beckham’s silence.

However, other sports stars had been increasingly outspoken on the months-long devastating crisis in Gaza. 

Gary Lineker, another renowned English football icon, has vowed to not remain silent on the atrocities conducted in the territory. 

“Actually, this issue does not concern me directly. I am not a Muslim. I am not Jewish. I am not Israeli. I am not Palestinian.

“So, I see, I think purely from the outside as from a neutral perspective and I cannot think of anything that I have seen worse in my lifetime. The constant images of children losing their lives day in, day out,” he said in an interview with journalist Mehdi Hasan on May 10.  

“When I see some images on social media, I cry all the time.”


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