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Palestinian refugee camps

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Title: Palestinian refugee camps  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aida Camp, Ein Beit al-Ma', Nur Shams, Tulkarm, Askar (camp), Balata
Collection: Forced Migration, Palestine Refugee Camps, Palestinian Refugees
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Palestinian refugee camps

1948 Palestinian exodus

Main articles
1948 Palestinian exodus

1947–48 civil war
1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Palestine war
Causes of the exodus
Nakba Day
Palestine refugee camps
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian right of return
Present absentee
Transfer Committee
Resolution 194

Mandatory Palestine
Israeli Declaration of Independence
Israeli–Palestinian conflict history
New Historians
Palestine · Plan Dalet
1947 partition plan · UNRWA

Key incidents
Battle of Haifa
Deir Yassin massacre
Exodus from Lydda and Ramle

Notable writers
Aref al-Aref · Yoav Gelber
Efraim Karsh · Walid Khalidi
Nur-eldeen Masalha · Benny Morris
Ilan Pappé · Tom Segev
Avraham Sela · Avi Shlaim

Related categories/lists
List of depopulated villages

Related templates

Palestinian refugee camps were established after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War to accommodate the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 Palestinian exodus. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 194 grants Palestinians the right to return to their homeland if they wish to "live at peace with their neighbors".

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) defines a Palestinian refugee as:

"persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict."

In the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jewish refugees who fled or had been expelled during the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries were initially resettled in refugee camps known variously as Immigrant camps, Ma'abarot, and "development towns" prior to absorption into mainstream Israeli society. Conversely, many Palestinian refugees remain in Palestinian refugee camps, while others have been absorbed into Jordanian society or the Palestinian territories.


  • Role of UNRWA 1
  • List of camps 2
    • Gaza Strip 2.1
    • West Bank 2.2
    • Syria 2.3
    • Lebanon 2.4
    • Jordan 2.5
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
    • Maps 5.1

Role of UNRWA

UNRWA recognizes facilities in 59 designated refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It also provided relief to displaced persons inside Israel following the 1948 conflict until the Israeli government took over responsibility for them in 1952.

For a camp to be recognized by UNRWA, there must be an agreement between the host government and UNRWA governing use of the camp. UNRWA does not itself run any camps, has no police powers or administrative role, but simply provides services to the camp. Designated refugee camps, which developed from tented cities to rows of concrete blockhouses to urban ghettos indistinguishable from their surroundings (effectively becoming urban developments within existing cities or by themselves), house around one third of all registered Palestine refugees. UNRWA also provides facilities in other areas where large numbers of registered Palestine refugees live outside of recognized camps.

UNRWA defines a Palestine refugee as:[1]

"persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict."

UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of refugee males.[1] The number of registered Palestine refugees (PR) has subsequently grown from 750,000 in 1950 to around 5 million in 2013.[1]

List of camps

This lists the current Palestine refugee camps with current population and year they were established.[2]

Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip has 8 refugee camps and 1,221,110 registered refugees.

West Bank

The West Bank has 19 refugee camps and 741,409 registered refugees.


Syria has 13 refugee camps and 499,189 registered refugees. Three of these camps are unofficial (*).


There are 12 refugee camps in Lebanon and 448,599 registered refugees.


There are 10 refugee camps in Jordan and 2,034,641 registered refugees.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Who We Are - UNRWA".  
  2. ^ "Where We Work - UNRWA".  

External links

  • Where We Work, listing by UNRWA that shows statistics and camp profiles
  • Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
  • Palestinian Refugees in Syria
  • Palestinian Refugees in Jordan
  • Photo Essay: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, William Wheeler and Don Duncan World Politics Review, 11 March 2008
  • UN refugee agency unveils Palestinian archive


  • Fields of operation, 2014 map by UNRWA
  • Camps in Lebanon
  • Camps in the Palestinian territories
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