Pulitzer Prize goes to team including Gaza photographer who allegedly infiltrated Israel on October 7

A photojournalist who broke into Israel on October 7 is awarded with Reuters’ team


One of Yasser Qudih's snaps from October 7 depicted Palestinians on an Israeli tank, near the fence of the Gaza-Israel border, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Photo: Yasser Qudih/Xinhua/Alamy Live News)

A Palestinian photographer alleged to have accompanied Hamas into Israel on October 7 has been honoured with a prestigious photography award.

On Monday, Reuters’ staff were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography for “raw and urgent photographs documenting the October 7th deadly attack in Israel by Hamas and the first weeks of Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza.”

One of the photographs in the winning compilation of Reuters images was taken by Yasser Qudih, a photographer who is accused of infiltrating Israel on October 7.

The images that Qudih took on the day of the massacre featured jubilant Palestinians mounting a smoldering Israeli tank and another depicted an armed terrorist on the Israeli side of the border.

The photograph taken by Qudih included in Reuters’s 15-image winning spread was not one of those he took inside Israel on the day of the massacre but instead shows a typical war scene of Palestinians fleeing a bomb site in Gaza. His winning photo was taken on October 25 and shows a man holding his two nephews as Palestinians search for victims of an Israeli strike on a residential building in Gaza City.

Other photos in the winning series that were taken on October 7 include a snap by Ahmed Zakot of Hamas gunmen in a stolen Israeli military vehicle in Gaza and one by Ammar Awad of murdered elderly Israelis strewn outside a bomb shelter. Other images include grieving Israelis and Palestinians and destruction in Gaza and Israel. One of the snaps includes an image of Hamas’s tunnel network underneath Al Shifa Hospital.

The annual Pulitzers, first presented in 1917, are the most prestigious honours in US journalism. 

After Jerusalem-based media watchdog, HonestReporting, uncovered Quidih’s photos from October 7, Reuters said that the photojournalist had no prior knowledge of the attack and that the agency did not embed photographers within Hamas.

Qudih’s win comes after a photograph by Ali Mahmoud depicting Hamas terrorists with the half-naked corpse of German-Israeli Shani Louk was awarded Team Picture Story of the Year, along with a collection of other graphic photos taken by Associated Press (AP) photographers.

At the time, the collection, which included AP photos depicting both Israelis and Palestinians in the days following October 7, was criticised by those who claimed the photographer and agency showed disrespect to Louk and her family by snapping the distressing photo.

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