This Heart Stopping Image Is Being Compared To An Iconic Symbol Of Rebellion

Aed Abu Amro participates in protests on a weekly basis.

He and his fellow Palestinians protest in Gaza along the border with Israel for the right to return to their ancestral lands, which today, are part of modern Israel.

In the image taken by photojournalist Mustafa Hassona, Amro is bare-chested while holding a large Palestinian flag. In the other hand, he's welding a slingshot.

Aed Abu Amro protesting in Gaza. Image: Getty Images.

The photo was taken during violent clashes between Palestinian and Israeli groups on the beach close to the border with Israel on Monday. Protesters threw tires and stones and the Israelis responded with fire and tear gas.

"The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the other protests I've attended. 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," Amro told Al Jazeera.

The image gained international attention when Lalah Khalili, a professor in Middle Eastern politics at SOAS university in London, shared it on Twitter. Her tweet alone attracted 114,000 likes, with many comparing the image to the famous painting of the French revolution Liberty Leading The People.

Liberty Leading The People, 1830. Image: Getty Images.

Within the framework of a complex and delicate political situation in Gaza, the comparison with the famous french artwork has divided opinions.

Liberty Leading The People came to represent heroic rebellion and justified revolt, where Liberty -- a woman of the people -- leads French society in their defeat of the royal family and into freedom.

Within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this comparison was problematic for some, where opinions differ on whether the Palestinian protests are justified or not.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au