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Harrowing image of Palestinian funeral named World Press Photo of the Year

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paul hansen world photo award
paul hansen world photo award

World Press Photo today awarded its prestigious Photo of the Year prize to Swedish photographer Paul Hansen, for his harrowing image of a burial procession in Gaza City. A photographer for Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Hansen captured the above image in late November, during a trip to the Palestinian Territories. In the foreground are two men, each carrying the lifeless body of a child. The children, two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad, were killed when an Israeli missile destroyed their home. Their father was also killed in the attack (his body is laid out on a stretcher in the background of the image), while their mother was put under intensive care treatment.

"A picture I will not forget."

It's an image that no doubt carries different connotations for different viewers, but its visceral power is virtually impossible to deny, or even describe. "The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children," jury member Mayu Mohanna said. "It’s a picture I will not forget."

Hansen's photo was selected from a total of 103,481 images submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries. World Press Photo's panel of judges selected first, second, and third prize winners from a total of nine categories. You can browse through the full gallery of winning images here.