This photo I took in Palestine just won second prize in the Middle East Institute's Digital Photo Contest! It was chosen from 400 entries for the theme “New Beginnings.” I took the photo literally while in the middle of livestreaming clashes in Hebron – one-handed capture while juggling my camera and phone rig – where thousands of Israeli soldiers guard around 600 Israeli settlers who occupy heavily militarized settlement enclaves in the most populous Palestinian city.
Near the most heavily manned checkpoints, the entrance to Shuhada Street, the Israeli army was firing rounds of tear gas at protestors after a march. Palestinian boys were slinging rocks back at them. At an outdoor market a literal stone's throw away, the sting of the tear gas was reaching shoppers. While livestreaming I witnessed these three Palestinian men casually pull their masks on while continuing to sell falafel and sweets. The moment was so surreal, and yet so normal for them. And ultimately so symbolic of the resilience of Palestinians through the everyday struggles they endure to live.