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Gazan photojournalist up for best war images award in France

Oct. 7, 2009 4:08 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2009 10:22 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian photojournalist Mohammad Al-Baba was selected by France as a finalist in the Payox competition for best war photographer of the year for his images documenting the use of white phosphorus weapons by Israeli forces in Gaza during the winter war.

Al-Baba has not been granted permission by Rafah crossings authorities to leave the Strip to take part in the awards ceremonies and presentations. He has a visa for travel to France but must first travel to the Cairo airport in Egypt. He said AFP officials had contacted Israel for permission to travel through the Erez crossing into Israel, but had not received an answer. If he does not leave before 9 October he will not be able to attend the event.

As photojournalist for AFP and the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayam, Al-Baba was the only photographers able to capture the Israeli bombing of a Beit Lahlia school on 17 January 2009. The bombs used, which targeted areas just outside the school, contained white phosphorus.

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