Striking images in contention for Israel’s best press photo of 2017

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Striking images in contention for Israel’s best press photo of 2017

Prayers, protests and prime ministers make the cut for shortlisted photographs from the Jewish state this year

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

  • Avishag Shaar Yashuv
    Avishag Shaar Yashuv
  • Ohad Zwigenberg
    Ohad Zwigenberg
  • Yaniv Nadav
    Yaniv Nadav
  • Ziv Koren
    Ziv Koren
  • Ahmad Gharabl
    Ahmad Gharabl
  • Oren Ben Hakoon
    Oren Ben Hakoon
  • Orna Naor
    Orna Naor
  • Abir Sultan
    Abir Sultan

Israel’s best press photo of 2017 is to be decided this week, with a selection of striking images showcasing some of the year’s most emotive subjects shortlisted for the award.

Prayers, protests and prime ministers all feature in this year’s best photojournalism and the photos will be exhibited in the Eretz Israel Museum from Friday until 20 January, after judges decide the ultimate winner on Thursday night.

Curators of the exhibit, called Local Testimony, had to choose from 7,000 entries, and said “hundreds” of photos were submitted showing the evacuation of Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement long fought over in the courts.

“On the other hand, only two people photographed the drama of the evacuation of the buildings in the Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran in the Negev, as the area was closed to the media,” said curator Vardi Kahana.

“The photographs of one photographer who documented the event in real time assisted in analysing the event which ended in a double-fold tragedy,” when village resident Yacoub Abu Al-Qia’an, was shot by police while driving away from the scene of the protest, only for his car to career into the police sergeant Erez Levi. Both men were killed.

AHMAD GHARABLI /AFP (part of a series)

On 14 July, three Israeli Arabs, residents of Umm al-Fahm, shot and killed two Border Police officers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque square. In response, metal detectors were installed at the gates leading to Temple Mount. Members of the Waqf opposed the move, instructing the Muslims to refuse to go to Temple Mount until the detectors were removed, calling them to pray demonstratively outside the compound.

Violent confrontations between Palestinians and police in East Jerusalem and the West Bank led the cabinet to remove the metal detectors and replace them with cameras. Members of the Waqf opposed this move as well and violent conflicts continued in the course of which four Palestinians were killed. On 21 July a terrorist entered the settlement of Halamish, murdered three members of the Salomon family and severely injured the mother. He claimed that he did this for Al-Aqsa. The crisis lasted for two weeks and eventually Israel removed all security measures from the compound. Jerusalem, 14-27 July 2017

Ahmad Gharabl

ZIV KOREN Polaris Images

Knesset Member Oren Hazan pushing himself into a selfie photo with US President Donald Trump, during the official ceremony on the occasion of his first visit to Israel. Ben Gurion Airport, 22 May 2017

Ziv Koren

OREN BEN HAKOON / Israel Hayom

Break during the dress rehearsal for the annual Independence Day ceremony in honour of outstanding soldiers The President’s Residence, Jerusalem, 27 April 2017

Oren Ben Hakoon


Yeshiva students celebrating Purim. Bnei Brak, 12 March 2017

Orna Naor

ABIR SULTAN / EPA (part of a series)

Girls and women covered in black from head to toe is becoming a common scene in recent years. The burqa is a required garment for women in some Islamic countries, however several Jewish communities that live in Mea Shearim, Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak, adopted this dress code based on the belief that modesty will bring redemption. Mea Shearim Neighborhood, Jerusalem, 6 February – 5 March 2017

Abir Sultan


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touring southern Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv, 31 August 2017

Avishag Shaar Yashuv

OHAD ZWIGENBERG / Yedioth Ahronoth

Ultra-Orthodox from the Hapeleg Hayerushalmi (followers of Rav Shmuel Auerbach) demonstrating against enlistment in the IDF. Jerusalem, 23 March 2017.

Ohad snapped this incredible image during one of the strictly Orthodox demonstrations against the arrest of young yeshiva students for refusing to enlist in the IDF. “The demonstration was quite ordinary and routine,” he said. “They take place every few days in Jerusalem. That day I had had a fight with my then girlfriend on the phone. I was in a bad mood so I left the house and went to the demo, to shoot for me, not for the newspaper. I saw the yeshiva students sitting there on the road in front of the headlights of cars blocked by their demonstration, which created incredible lighting with the water. I knelt down between the first two cars. A split second before I took the photo, another photographer took a photo. I remember feeling the flash in my eye. I already saw the situation as special. It was like a hallucination, a scene from a Hollywood movie. In fact this picture very much reflects my feeling that day. I felt like I was in a storm of emotions and this picture is very turbulent. The water cannon shooting blue water combines with the car headlights and the blue light of the police sirens behind the demonstrators. It illuminates the sky and all the water bursting from all sides together created a one-time effect that is impossible to recreate. A second after I took it I got water on the lens which broke the camera, and moments later the police were able to disperse the demonstrators.

For me, the picture speaks for itself. It is for moments like this that I work hard every day.”

Ohad Zwigenberg

YANIV NADAV for Flash 90

Friday prayers outside Temple Mount, in protest against placing metal detectors at its entrance. Salah al-Din Road, Jerusalem, 21 July 2017

Yaniv Nadav
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: