Photo of Palestinian protester goes viral: Twitterati likens him to David taking on Goliath, French Revolution painting

The photograph of a shirtless Palestinian protester carrying a Palestinian flag in one hand and swinging a slingshot over his head with the other has gone viral with netizens drawing comparisons with the iconic French Revolution painting, Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix.

"Does it look familiar, especially to the French?" tweeted @FredericKanoute titling the image, which was captured on 22 October by Mustafa Hassouna of Turkey's Anadolu Agency, as the "13th attempt to break the Gaza blockade by sea".

With a rising cloud of black smoke filling the background, and press photographers seemingly running for cover, the Palestinian protester stands out in the photograph, and appears to be leading the protests against the Israeli blockade. Protests along the Gaza border have intensified after the launch of Great March of Return protests. According to reports more than 200 Palestinians been killed in Israel fire since the protests began on 30 March. According to Al-Jazeera, which identified the shirtless Palestinian protester as 20-year-old A'ed Abu Amro, a resident of al-Zaytoun neighbourhood in Gaza City. Amro, according to the report, "protests every Friday and Monday with friends" with the same Palestinian flag. "I was surprised this picture of me went viral," he told Al Jazeera. "I participate in protests on a weekly basis, sometimes more. I didn't even know there was a photographer near me." Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, who was among the first to share the image on the social media likened Amro's photo to "Michelangelo with a camera captures David fighting Goliath in action".

The irony of the comparison — the Palestinian protester as David and the Israeli forces as Goliath — was not missed by others as they began sharing other images of "David in action" on social media, drawing comparisons between the shirtless Palestinian protester and David. Amro's image also brought to memory another iconic photograph of a teenage Palestinian protester, which was captured by an Associated Press photographer in 2000. Eighteen years ago, an Associated Press photographer had captured on camera Fares Odeh, a 14-year-old, standing alone in front of an Israeli tank with his arm bent back and positioned to throw a stone at the armoured vehicle. Though Odeh was killed 10 days later while resisting Israeli Defence Forces near Karni, the image of him facing the tank became an iconic symbol of the Palestinian movement against Israeli occupation.

Updated Date: Jan 10, 2019 15:29:09 IST