Israeli photographer wins Pulitzer

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
One man's honor is another man's shame. While Israeli photographer Oded Balilty received a Pulitzer prize for a photo he took during the forcible evacuation of a Jewish settlement in Judea, the State of Israel wasn't getting any kudos for the content of the picture.

The winning photo shows Israeli officers in riot gear pushing against a lone Jewish settler who resisted their charge with all her might.

"I saw this woman hesitate a little bit, and I saw the line of the police and I just grabbed my camera," he said. "It just was there."

Balilty, who works for The Associated Press, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography on Monday.

The image was captured during a clash in the settlement of Amona, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah in February 2006. About 200 people were wounded as hundreds of stone-throwing Jewish settlers resisted a forced evacuation of the illegal outpost. The violence came after a court allowed the demolition of nine homes at the site.

Balilty said he and a colleague were covering the clashes and at one point, they decided to split up and stake out different positions. That's when he captured the woman resisting a line of riot police, an image that showed Israeli against Israelis and portrayed riot police as using unnecessary force.

The picture has previously been honored in photojournalism competitions, including World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, Atlanta Photojournalism 2006 and Headliner Awards 2007.

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