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April 22, 2010

AP Photographer Wins Award for Gaza Coverage

AP photographer Khalil Hamra has been awarded the The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award 2009 by the Overseas Press Club for his images of the winter 2008-09 war between Israel and Hamas. The OPC commended Hamra:

Khalil Hamra’s pictures of the Israeli military incursion into Gaza showed exceptional courage and enterprise by a committed local photographer during a sustained and dangerous conflict. His images are close up, powerful and direct and taken at considerable risk due to the nature of the conflict which had combatants mingling amongst the civilian population. Hamra’s personal circumstances are equally compelling: he covered the conflict in spite of concerns about the welfare of his wife, then pregnant with twins.

In December 2008, during the fighting, Snapshots noted that Lenny Ben-David flagged an apparently staged photo by Khalil Hamra of injured children in Gaza:

A Washington Post photo essay posted the two pictures above of the Palestinian combatants along with a picture of Palestinian wounded in a Gaza hospital. The picture was accompanied by this caption:

Palestinian children and a man wounded in Israeli missile strikes are seen in the emergency area at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008. Israeli warplanes demolished dozens of Hamas security compounds across Gaza on Saturday in unprecedented waves of simultaneous air strikes. Gaza medics said at least 145 people were killed and more than 310 wounded in the single deadliest day in Gaza fighting in recent memory. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (Khalil Hamra - AP)

The children appear healthy. Would the photographer and caption writer, Khalil Hamra, fake a picture?

Hamra OPC award.jpg

And one more question comes to mind. Given that Hamas combatants mingled among the civilian population, as OPC points out, why wasn't Hamra willing or able to take photographs of the some 15,000 fighters? Indeed, AP carried virtually no photos of Hamas fighters during Cast Lead. Could it be because Hamas intimidated Hamra who was concerned about his and his wife's personal safety? Or is there a different explanation?

Posted by TS at April 22, 2010 06:27 AM


Could you possibly edit this article to provide a larger photo? The text refers to the children's condition and so I would like to see them more clearly if possible. Thank you for your great coverage.

Posted by: Ray in Seattle at April 22, 2010 01:03 PM

sham on you to talk this way about someone you dont know and even about photography when you don't know how to hold a camera .. this is really shame .. this photographer won the robert capa or his gaza war photography. you go learn and then come talk about great people

Posted by: hero at May 5, 2010 05:20 AM

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