AP received an award for the photo of Hamas militants and the murdered Israeli woman Shani Luk: people are outraged

AP received an award for the photo of Hamas militants and the murdered Israeli woman Shani Luk: people are outraged


The prestigious Pictures of the Year photo award awarded the Associated Press the “Team Photo Story of the Year” award for the picture of Hamas fighters carrying the body of a murdered girl to Gaza.

On the picture – 22-year-old Shani Lukwho was kidnapped and killed by Hamas militants during an attack on the Nova music festival on October 7, 2023.

The award in the category “Team Photo Story of the Year” was given to a group of Palestinian journalists: Fatima Shbair, Ohad Zwigenberg, Hatem Ali, Mohammed Dahman, Francisco Seco, Leo Correa, Ariel Shalit, Oded Balilti, Adel Khana, Hatem Moussa and Ali Mahmoud.

But the author of this scandalous photo is the Associated Press freelancer Ali Mahmoud, a Palestinian photographer who came to photograph the attack on Israel from the Gaza side.

The network was outraged and called for the award to be canceled, and a corresponding petition appeared on the Change.org website. The publication told more about the scandal surrounding the photo award PetaPixel, Ynet and The Jewish Chronicle.

What happened?

The Pictures of the Year Awards, organized by the Missouri School of Journalism and sponsored by Nikon, honored the Associated Press this year for a series of 20 images that included photos of explosions over Gaza, dead children, destruction and other horrors of war.

But the photo of Israeli Shani Luk, whose body is being carried away by militants, caused the greatest indignation among the public. It was this picture that the photo award winner first published on Instagram, but after many negative comments, she deleted it.

Ali Mahmoud is one of the photographers investigated by HonestReporting.

The same organization was one of the first to react to the awarding of the award from Pictures of the Year.

“Congratulations Associated Press with the “Image of the Year” award. How do you feel about receiving it thanks to the Palestinian photojournalists who infiltrated Israel on October 7 and took a photo of Shani Luk’s body in a Hamas pickup?” – wrote media people on Twitter.

Representatives of the state structures of Israel also reacted to the scandal. In particular, Mrs. Special Envoy on Combating Anti-Semitism Michal Kotler-Wunsch criticized the decision of the photo contest jury, calling it “normalization and actualization of Hamas and other terrorist puppets of bloody authoritarian regimes.”

He also responded to the incident Boris Lozhkinvice president of the World Jewish Congress and former head of the National Investment Council of Ukraine.

“On October 7 of last year (Ali Mahmoud) went to Israel for a massacre together with Hamas and filmed all the atrocities of terrorists. I deeply respect AP. Many of my acquaintances and colleagues cooperated and continue to work with this agency. Let’s recall at least the authors of the Oscar-winning “20 days in Mariupoli”, they are also correspondents of AR.

But it is one thing to risk one’s life to document the crimes of the occupiers, another to be a full-time chronicler of terrorists.” – Lozhkin wrote and called to sign petition about the cancellation of the award.

At the same time, the father of the dead girl Nissim Luk on the contrary, he defended the jury’s decision to award a prize for a shocking photograph.

“It’s good that the picture won an award, it’s one of the most important pictures of the last 50 years… If I start crying, what will happen? That’s history.

In 100 years they will look and find out what happened here. I travel the world and everyone knows who Shani is” said Nissim to the Israeli media.

The petition to cancel the award for the AR freelancer has already been received more than 124 thousand signatures.

Shani Luk

Shani Luk

Photo: shanukkk/Instagram

The AR and Reuters news agencies have previously been criticized by the Jewish communities and, in particular, by the families of the dead Israelis.

Some believed that the freelancers may have known about the Hamas attack on the Nova festival, which is why they were able to film the killings and kidnappings so quickly.

The families of the five killed even sued the journalists, and the HonestReporting organization initiated an investigation into some freelancers who collaborated with the international agencies AP, Reuters and CNN.

However, in official statement AR has denied any allegations. The agency said it was not aware of the Hamas attack in advance, and the freelance photos were taken hours after the first explosions.

Media officials also reported that they did not have and do not have any evidence that the freelance writers are connected to Hamas militants, and any claims to the contrary “are reckless and dangerous.”

“Documenting extraordinary events around the world – no matter how horrific – is our job. Without the AP and other news organizations, the world would not know what happened on October 7th.” – says AR.

It will be recalled that the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began in October 2023, when Hamas attacked the NOVA music festival, which was held in the Israeli Negev desert near the border with the Gaza Strip and gathered about 3 thousand visitors.

Israeli Shani Luk, who lived in Germany, was kidnapped by terrorists on October 7. A photo of her body in a Hamas car quickly spread online. The girl’s parents initially believed that she was unconscious, but later her death was confirmed.

In total, Hamas took more than 200 people hostage. In the next few days, Israel launched hundreds of strikes in the Gaza Strip and “severely weakened the capabilities” of the Palestinian militant group. During the night of October 10, the IDF destroyed more than 200 targets in the Gaza Strip.

Also, as of October 2023, 25 Ukrainians have died as a result of hostilities in Gaza and Israel.





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