Moral Low Ground


Paul Hansen’s ‘Gaza Burial’ Wins World Press Photo of the Year 2012

(Photo: World Press Photo handout-- Paul Hansen/AFP)

(Photo: World Press Photo handout– Paul Hansen/AFP)

A photograph of Palestinian mourners carrying the dead bodies of two children killed by an Israeli missile strike on Gaza has won the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award for 2012.

‘Gaza Burial,’ a photo taken by Paul Hansen of Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter, was selected by a jury as the last year’s best news photo. The results of the contest were announced at a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Friday.

The winning photo, which was taken on November 20, 2012 during Israel’s ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ attack on Gaza, shows 2-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad, who were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. According to the caption accompanying the photo, “their father Fouad was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.”

According to World Press Photo, “Paul Hansen is a Swedish photojournalist and has worked for the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter since 2000. He has received numerous awards, including being named Photographer of the Year by POYi in 2010 and 2013, Photographer of the Year in Sweden seven times, and two first place awards from NPPA. He is based in Stockholm.”

“The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children,” Mayu Mohanna, a World Press Photo of the Year jury member from Peru, said of Hansen’s winning photo. “It’s a picture I will not forget.”

The final rounds of the contest were judged by three Americans, one German-American and one juror each from Peru, Iraq, Sweden, France and China.

Hansen will receive a prize of €10,000 ($13,378) for winning the contest.

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