Gaza images on display in France show Palestinian resilience

Gaza images on display in France show Palestinian resilience
3 min read
Photoblog: Khalil Hamra, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, shows the resilience of people in his native Gaza in a new exhibition.
Palestinians pray beneath the fallen minaret of the Soussi mosque hit by Israeli strikes [AP]
A photojournalist is to exhibit images from his native Gaza, showing Palestinian resilience amid years of war and hardship.

Khalil Hamra, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The Associated Press, is exhibiting his work in a France show titled "Why Gaza?" at the 30th annual Visa Pour L'Image photojournalism festival. The exhibition runs in Perpignan until 16 September.

In 30 photos on display, Hamra shows the resilience of Gazans, some two million people living on a sliver of land on the Mediterranean Sea that measures just 360 square kilometres.

Gaza's residents have endured 11 years of a crippling blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt after the takeover of the territory by the Islamic militant group Hamas in 2007. Hardships have worsened with each year of the blockade, including power cuts for most of the day, soaring unemployment and a health system on the brink of collapse.

The besieged enclave has endured further suffering this year with Israel's violent response to Great Return March protests. Palestinians have been demonstrating on the border since 30 March, demanding an end to the siege and the right to return to their homeland from which they fled or were expelled from during the creation of Israel 70 years ago.

At least 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests began. One Israeli died by sniper fire in that time.

The France festival highlights photojournalism from around the world in exhibits, screenings, lectures and workshops. 

Hamra won the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award in 2009. He shared the 2013 Pulitzer Prize with three Associated Press photographers for his work in Syria.

"Khalil Hamra's work shines a light on the human condition in places most of us will never have the chance to visit," said Maya Alleruzzo, the AP's Middle East regional photo editor. "He often does so at great personal risk."

Here are a selection of images from the display:

Palestinians pray beneath the fallen minaret of the Soussi mosque that was hit by Israeli strikes in Gaza City, 2014 [AP]
Palestinians salvage what little of their belongings they could from their homes during a 12-hour ceasefire in Gaza City [AP] 
Teargas canisters fired by Israeli troops fall around a Palestinian youth [AP] 
Palestinian groom Saed Abu Aser, and his bride, Falasteen, walk into the wedding hall, in Gaza City [AP]
Palestinians try to salvage what they can from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike [AP] 
A Palestinian girl plays in a barrel as her mother bakes bread for a Ramadan dinner [AP] 
A Palestinian boy holds an umbrella as he rests in front of the damaged Nada Towers residential neighbourhood [AP] 

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