Viral Photo of Palestinian Gaza Protester Compared to Biblical David and Goliath

A photograph from ongoing Palestinian protests in Gaza has gone viral this week, with some suggesting the image is reminiscent of the Biblical story of David and Goliath, as well as other iconic moments from history.

In the now-iconic photo, a young man can be seen shirtless, holding a Palestinian flag in his outstretched right hand and rapidly twirling a sling in his left. His muscular torso stands out, posed picturesquely against a cloud of gray smoke.

“When a Michelangelo with a camera captures David fighting Goliath in action,” Youssef Munayer, who is a campaigner for Palestinian rights, wrote on Twitter, comparing the image to artwork by the well-known Italian Renaissance artist.

Others compared the image to the iconic French painting titled, “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix, as well as another iconic photo from 18-years ago, which featured 14-year-old Fares Odeh just before he threw a rock at an Israeli tank. The Palestinian teenager was killed less than two weeks later by the Israeli military.

The now-viral image was captured on October 22 by photographer Mustafa Hassouna of Turkey's Anadolu Agency, Al Jazeera reported. It shows 20-year-old Palestinian A'ed Abu Amro, who hails from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.

"I was surprised this picture of me went viral," Abu Amro told Al Jazeera. "I participate in protests on a weekly basis, sometimes more. I didn't even know there was a photographer near me."

He told the Qatari-owned broadcaster that friends sent him the photo the day after the protest when they saw it going viral online.

"The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the other protests I've attended,” he pointed out. “My friends make fun of me, saying it is easier to throw rocks without holding a flag in the other hand, but I got used to it.”

Palestinians have been protesting weekly in Gaza since March along the border that divides their semiautonomous region from Israel. The protests were launched to support the their declared “right of return” to their ancestral homes in lands that are now part of Israel, according to the BBC. Protests intensified as the U.S. opened its new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem earlier this year. Palestinians also recognize the historic city as their capital.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops since the demonstrations began in the spring, according to the healthy ministry run by the United Nations and local militant political group Hamas. One Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.

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