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Shani Louk: Father of Hamas victim defends photo of daughter's body paraded through Gaza streets

The German-Israeli tourist was attending a 'festival of peace' when she was captured and killed.

The father of Shani Louk, a tourist who was killed during Hamas' October 7 attacks on Israel has defended the decision to present a prestigious award to a photographer who pictured her dead body.

The a German-Israeli tattoo artist, was in Israel attending a music festival when she was captured by Hamas militants who stormed the area in a surprise assault, firing thousands of rockets and invading by land, sea and air. Her body was paraded through the streets of Gaza on the back of a utility truck.

The Hamas attacks, declared a terror event by the Australian government, killed around 1,200 people and saw around 240 others kidnapped and taken hostage in Gaza.

Shani Louk smiling at the camera.
Shani Louk, 30, a German tattoo artist, was in Israel attending a music festival when she was captured by Hamas militants. Source: Instagram.

Associated Press freelancer Ali Mahmud won the Reynolds Journalism Institute's Team Picture Story of the Year for the image, which showed Shani Louk's lifeless body splayed in the back of a truck and surrounded by Hamas militants.

The decision to award the prize for Mahmud's photo received fierce backlash on social media and from some Jewish commentators.

But the woman’s father, Nissim Louk, told Israeli news outlet Ynet that he was glad the photo won the award.

"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," he said.

He added that the picture of his daughter and other photos taken at the time “symbolise this era”.

Shani Louk, 30, posing for the camera wearing a headscarf.
Shani Louk, 30, a German tattoo artist, was in Israel attending a music festival when she was captured by Hamas militants. Source: Instagram.

"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," he added. "I travel the world, and everyone knows who Shani is."

Following the Hamas attack on the festival, Israel launched a campaign against Hamas. More than 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to local authorities.

Earlier this week, Australia called on Israel to stop blocking humanitarian aid into Gaza and backed a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire and release of Israeli hostages.

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