Anadolu Agency's photo of Gaza protester goes viral

By Mustafa Deveci

JERUSALEM (AA) – A photograph of a Palestinian protestor in the blockaded Gaza Strip taken by Anadolu Agency's photojournalist has gone viral on both social and the international media.

Mustafa Hassona took the snapshot during demonstrations to lift the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip on Monday.

With the Palestinian flag in one hand and a poised sling in the other, the photo of A'ed Abu Amro amid black smoke mirrors Eugene Delacroix’s 1830 artistic representation "Liberty Leading the People" of the French Revolution, with revolutionaries being led by a woman bearing a French flag and a bayoneted musket.

The photo has been cited by international media outlets, including Al Jazeera English and the BBC.

“The spread of my photograph alongside the French artist’s painting emboldened me to continue going to the demonstrations,“ Abu Amro told Anadolu Agency.

Saying that the extensive global coverage on the image gave him joy, the 22-year old expressed hope that the protests would lead to the lifting of the blockade to allow more job opportunities in his city.

Abu Amro said that he would never part from his flag or sling while at a protest.

“Even if I become a target for Israeli bullets, this flag will remain in my hand,” he added, saying that his biggest aspiration was to one day witness the liberation of Palestine.

Photojournalist Hassouna said that it was important for the image to have been spread on social media as it showed that “the Palestinians live on their own land.”

For the last seven months, Palestinians in Gaza have been staging regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to demand the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed — and thousands more injured — by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.