Channel 4 News team defy ban to report from Jenin

Hilsum: "camp like quake zone"

Channel 4 News correspondent Lindsey Hilsum defied the Israeli ban on reporting from Jenin to film in the refugee camp she described as resembling an "earthquake zone".

With cameraman Tim Lambon, she succeeded last Saturday in getting into the devastated camp, which has been closed to journalists since the Israelis declared it a military zone.

Travelling across country with a team of 12 European journalists, Hilsum was the first UK broadcast journalist to report from the area.

Her reports were shown at the weekend by Channel 4 News on programmes presented by Jon Snow from Jerusalem.

Since then, more journalists have managed to break into the camp. Others have been allowed in on a pool basis, as the Israelis continue their much-criticised media ban.

"By a combination of luck and judgement we found a road that for some inexplicable reason was not guarded ," said Hilsum. "The only way in was by foot and it was incredibly hot wearing a flak jacket. It was like a commando operation. At one point I wondered if I was going to make it."

Hilsum said her main concern once she got into the camp was the danger faced by the Palestinians, who hid them in their houses.

"A Palestinian girl came to us crying and said soldiers were searching nearby houses as they had heard there were journalists who had got in and they were looking for them."

Hilsum added that she had covered wars and earthquakes but never seen "a war that looked like an earthquake".

"A lot of work needs to be done by journalists to find out the truth about what really happened in Jenin," said Hilsum.

Julie Tomlin

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