As soon as Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem saw the scene unfold in front of him, he knew he had the shot.

For the second Friday in a row, hundreds of Palestinians have staged protests on the Gaza side of the border with Israel. The protesters have been burning tires and rushing the border, facing off against Israeli troops who have answered with live ammunition. On Friday, six Palestinians were killed and more than 1,000 were injured, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Salem, a Reuters photographer since 2003, was near the border between Israel and Gaza on Friday, just 330 yards from the fence, when he heard protesters screaming, “calling upon other young men and urging them to come forward in order to cross the border fence,” Salem told WorldViews. “They were very excited.”

As the smoke from the burning tires mixed with the tear gas from Israeli forces, the two groups of protesters came together, and that’s when Salem captured the shot — a striking and painterly photograph that recalls the work of Eugène Delacroix. “I [knew] it was a strong one the moment I saw it,” he said.

“I felt the picture was full of anger and excitement.”

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