E2F transcription factors are generally believed to be positive regulators of apoptosis. In this study, we show that dE2F1 and dDP are important for the normal pattern of DNA damage-induced apoptosis in Drosophila wing discs. Unexpectedly, the role that E2F plays varies depending on the position of the cells within the disc. In irradiated wild-type discs, intervein cells show a high level of DNA damage-induced apoptosis, while cells within the D/V boundary are protected. In irradiated discs lacking E2F regulation, intervein cells are largely protected, but apoptotic cells are found at the D/V boundary. The protective effect of E2F at the D/V boundary is due to a spatially restricted role in the repression of hid. These loss-of-function experiments demonstrate that E2F cannot be classified simply as a pro- or antiapoptotic factor. Instead, the overall role of E2F in the damage response varies greatly and depends on the cellular context.