Scottish PEN denounces the Israeli army’s targeting of the press in Jenin, which RSF and others have reported includes the destruction of camera and transmission equipment, and the firing of tear gas and ammunition at identified journalists.July 13, 2023
Scottish PEN joins the United Nations’ Secretary General in condemning the acts of violence perpetrated by Israeli armed forces upon the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank in early July. Scottish PEN denounces the Israeli army’s targeting of the press in Jenin, which RSF and others have reported includes the destruction of camera and transmission equipment, and the firing of tear gas and ammunition at identified journalists.
António Guterres strongly condemned all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror. He confirmed that this condemnation applied to all use of excessive force, and stated that ‘obviously in the situation in Jenin, there was an excessive force used by Israeli forces’. At least 12 Palestinians were killed in the operation. EU representative to the Palestinian territories Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff also questioned the proportionality of the operation.
The attack on Jenin took place a little over a year after Scottish PEN released a statement condemning the killing of two Palestinian journalists. Veteran TV correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead while on assignment in Jenin, and Ghufran Hamed Warasneh was shot dead while being questioned by Israeli Defense Forces at a checkpoint near the al-Arroub refugee camp.
The recent attack on the Jenin refugee camp illustrates the importance of journalists and writers being able to report on the conflict in Palestine and share the truth of their experiences with the wider world. In the aftermath of the attack, Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, illustrated the enormity of this task when she told the United Nations Human Rights Council that “Israel’s military occupation has morphed the entire occupied Palestinian territory into an open-air prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, surveilled and disciplined.”
Over a year after the death of Shireen Abu Akleh and Ghufran Hamed Warasneh, Scottish PEN continues to stand in solidarity with all journalists and writers working in Palestine. As always, we affirm the principles of the PEN Charter and champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in one world.