Shani Louk
Shani Loukcourtesy of family

The photograph that won first place in the prestigious POY photojournalism competition's Team Picture Story of the Year category is a photograph of Hamas terrorists in the back of a truck posing over the half-naked corpse of German-Israeli citizen Shani Louk.

20 photographs from the Associated Press (AP) depicting the war that began when Hamas massacred 1,200 people on October 7 received the award. The first of these photographs was taken by Associated Press (AP) photographer Ali Mahmud, who accompanied the terrorists who committed the massacre on October 7, stood by calmy, documented their atrocities unemotionally as they were committed, and captured the terrorists celebrating over Louk's corpse on his camera.

The picture was submitted with the caption: “Palestinian militants drive back to the Gaza Strip with the body of Shani Louk, a German-Israeli dual citizen, during their cross-border attack on Israel, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.” In Israel that "attack", during which over 1000 civilians of all ages were brutally raped, beheaded, burned to death and shot cold, is called a massacre. The so-called "militants" are murderers in a "terrorist army."

The annual award is bestowed by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. The prize committee stated, "The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday."

"Israel's retaliation after Gaza's militant Hamas rulers launched the unprecedented attack on Israel killing over 1,200 Israelis and taking captive dozens, has been fierce for Gaza and its people. Heavy Israeli airstrikes on the enclave have killed thousands of Palestinians."

The decision to give the award to a photographer who accompanied the terrorists as they committed the worst massacre against the Jewish people since the Holocaust was widely condemned.

Israeli Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism Michal Cotler-Wunsh wrote on X, "AP won the 'Picture of the Year' award of RJI for the photo of a Palestinian photographer who entered Israel on October 7 together with a mob of murderers and Hamas kidnappers, in order to photograph war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the shocking photo of Shani Louk on the Toyota.

"This is what the normalization of antisemitic hatred looks like. Never again is now," she added.

The Honest Reporting organization stated, "Congratulations to @AP for winning a Pictures of the Year award. How does it feel to do so on the back of Palestinian photojournalists who infiltrated Israel on Oct. 7 and took photos like the one below of Shani Louk's dead body in a Hamas pickup?"

Nissim Louk, Shani's father, told Ynet, "It's good that the photo won the prize, this is one of the most important photos in the last 50 years. These are some of the photos that shape human memory, the Jew raising his hands, the paratroopers at the Western Wall, photos that symbolize an era. This documentation of Shani, and of Noa Argamani on the motorcycle, they symbolize this era. I think it's a good thing to use it to inform the future. If I start crying, what will come of it? This is history. In 100 years they will look and know what happened here. I travel the world and everyone knows who Shani is."

He contrasted the beauty and light of his daughter with the darkness and extremism of her murderers, noting that he asked representatives at the UN whether they were on the side of light or the side of darkness epitomized by Shani's killers.