Reuters photographer wins World Press Photo award for image of Gazan woman cradling niece’s body

Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem wins the prestigious 2024 World Press Photo of the Year award for his image of a Palestinian woman cradling the body of her five-year-old niece in the Gaza Strip.

The picture was taken on Oct. 17, 2023, at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, where families were searching for relatives.

Salem’s winning image portrays Inas Abu Maamar, 36, sobbing while holding Saly’s sheet-clad body in the hospital morgue.

The jury of the Amsterdam-based World Press Photo Foundation says Salem’s winning image is “composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into unimaginable loss.”

This image provided by World Press Photo and taken by Mohammed Salem of the Reuters news agency won the World Press Photo Award of the Year and shows Palestinian woman Inas Abu Maamar, 36, embracing the body of her 5-year-old niece Saly, at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, October 17, 2023. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters/World Press Photo via AP)

“I felt the picture sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip,” Salem said when the image was first published in November.

“People were confused, running from one place to another, anxious to know the fate of their loved ones, and this woman caught my eye as she was holding the body of the little girl and refused to let go.”

The announcement of the award comes in the wake of outcry last month when the Associated Press won a Pictures of the Year International award in the Team Picture Story of the Year category for its photo essay “Israel and Hamas War,” which includes an image showing a half-naked Israeli woman, identified as Shani Louk, lying seemingly unconscious face-down in the back of a pickup truck filled with armed Gazan men on October 7.

Most Popular