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Oded Balilty wins Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography

Posted by eGZact on September 10, 2007

Associated Press – April 16, 2007


NEW YORK — Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty has won The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for his picture of a lone Jewish woman defying Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
It’s the 49th Pulitzer for the world’s oldest and largest news cooperative and the 30th awarded for AP photos.Balilty’s photo shows a Jewish settler struggling with an Israeli security officer during clashes that erupted as authorities evacuated the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah, on Feb. 1, 2006.

Thousands of troops in riot gear and on horseback clashed with hundreds of tone-throwing Jewish settlers holed up behind barbed wire and on rooftops in this illegal West Bank settlement outpost that Wednesday, after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the demolition of nine homes at the site.”It is a stunning single image that captures the chaos and emotion of that evacuation,” said AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll. She also cited the work of an 11-photographer AP team, including Balilty, that was a Pulitzer finalist in the same category for their work covering the conflict in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah.AP President and CEO Tom Curley praised both the Pulitzer Prize winner and the AP finalist team, which included Balilty, Kevork Djansezian of Los Angeles, Matt Dunham of London, Sebastian Scheiner of Israel, Kevin Frayer of Jerusalem, Mohammed Zaatari of Lebanon, Hussein Malla of Beirut, Lefteris Pitarakis of London, Pier Paolo Cito of Rome, Baz Ratner of Israel and David Guttenfelder of Tokyo.”Their success in the breaking-news photo category enhances the truly spectacular and enduring contribution made by AP photo journalists over decades,” Curley said. “They have added to an unrivaled collection of iconic images displayed on front pages and newscasts that have become forever etched in public consciousness.”Balilty’s single image of the Jewish settler previously has won awards in photojournalism competitions that include World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, Atlanta Photojournalism 2006 and Headliner Awards 2007.Balilty is based in Jerusalem, where he was born. He learned the basics of photojournalism as a photographer for the magazine of the Israeli Defense Forces. After completing his military service, he worked as a photographer for the ZOOM 77 agency and the daily paper Yedioth Ahronot. The AP hired Balilty for its Jerusalem photo staff In 2002, at the height of the Palestinian Intifada.Balilty has covered a range of issues inside and outside the Middle East, including the 2004 Ukrainian elections and subsequent demonstrations, the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and the 2006 war in Lebanon. He was one of 12 photographers selected to attend the prestigious World Press Photo 2005 Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums in Switzerland and France, including Visa pour l’Image 2004 in Perpignan, France, a group exhibition of AP coverage of the Intifada.



AMONA, West Bank/Feb. 2006
A Jewish settler struggles with an Israeli security officer as authorities evacuate a West Bank settlement near the Palestinian town of Ramallah after Israel’s Supreme Court cleared the way for the demolition of nine homes at the site.

This photo won first prize in The World Press Photo awards. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

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