Palestine refugee camps
Palestinian refugee camps were established after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War to accommodate the Palestine refugees who were either forced or chose to leave (depending on place of residence and Israeli/Arab historical interpretations) Palestine during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) Resolution 194 grants Palestinians the right to return to their homeland if they wish to "live at peace with their neighbors".
- "Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War."
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 the State of 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's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the agency and who need assistance. UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948. The number of registered Palestine refugees (RPR) has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to approximately 12 million in 2013.
List of camps
This lists the current Palestine refugee camps with current population and year they were established.
There are ten refugee camps in Jordan. Jordan has 2 million registered Palestinian refugees.
- 1955, Amman New Camp (Wihdat), 51,500
- 1968, Baqa'a, 104,000
- 1968, Husn refugee camp (Martyr Azmi el-Mufti), 22,000
- 1968, Irbid camp, 25,000
- 1952, Jabal el-Hussein, 29,000
- 1968, Jerash camp, 24,000
- 1968, Marka refugee camp, 53,000
- 1967, Souf refugee camp, 20,000
- 1968, Talbieh refugee camp, 7,000
- 1949, Zarqa camp, 20,000
The Palestinians' Lebanese camps became ghettos as the Palestinians were barred from citizenship, finding certain jobs, or traveling abroad. Some of these refugee camps, overcrowded and filled with angry refugees, helped seed the beginnings of Yasser Arafat's Fatah group; guerrilla attacks on Israel were launched from some of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon.
Following major armed conflict in Nahr al-Bared in 2007, the Lebanese government sought greater input into the rebuilding of the camp, and in the camp's ongoing management. The government wanted the ability to intervene in the future, and to exercise police powers there instead of the Palestinian armed forces that had policed the camp previously.
- 1955, Beddawi camp, 16,500
- 1948, Burj el-Barajneh, 16,026 
- 1955, Burj el-Shemali, 19,500
- 1956, Dbayeh, 4,223
- Tel al-Zaatar, destroyed
- 1948, Ein el-Hilweh, 47,500
- 1948, El-Buss, 9,840
- Jisr el-Basha, destroyed
- 1952, Mar Elias, 600
- 1954, Mieh Mieh, 4,578
- Nabatieh camp, destroyed in 1973
- 1949, Nahr al-Bared, 28,358 destroyed in 2007
- 1963, Rashidieh, 27,000
- 1949, Shatila, 8,500
- 1948, Wavel, 8,000
Syria has 10 official camps, 3 unofficial camps and 496,000 registered refugees.
- 1950, Dera'a, 10,000
- 1967, Dera'a (Emergency), 7,000
- 1950, Hama, 8,000
- 1949, Homs, 22,000
- 1948, Jaramana, 18,658
- 1950, Khan Dunoun, 10,000
- 1949, Khan Eshieh, 20,000
- 1948, Neirab, 20,500
- 1967, Qabr Essit, 23,700
- 1948, Sbeineh, 22,600
Unofficial camps in Syria:
- 1955-6, Latakia camp, 10,000 registered refugees
- 1957, Yarmouk Camp, 148,500 registered refugees
- 1962, Ein Al-Tal, 6,000 registered refugees 
The West Bank has 19 official camps with 194,514 refugees.
- 1950, Aida, 4,151
- 1949, Am'ari, 8,083
- 1948, Aqabat Jabr, 5,197
- 1950, Arroub, 9,180
- 1950, Askar, 31,894
- 1950, Balata, 41,681
- 1950, Beit Jibrin ('Azza), 1,828
- 1950, Camp No.1 (Ein Beit al-Ma'), 6,221
- 1949, Deir Ammar, 2,189
- 1949, Dheisheh, 10,923
- 1948, Ein as-Sultan, 1,888
- 1949, Far'a, 11,836
- 1949, Fawwar, 7,072
- 1949, Jalazone, 9,284
- 1953, Jenin, 35,050
- 1949, Kalandia, 9,188
- 1952, Nur Shams, 8,179
- 1965, Shu'fat, 9,567
- 1950, Tulkarm, 17,259
The Gaza Strip has eight official camps and 1.1 million registered refugees.
- 1948, Beach camp (Shati), 87,000
- 1949, Bureij, 34,000
- 1948, Deir el-Balah camp, 21,000
- 1948, Jabalia (Jabaliya), 110,000
- 1949, Khan Yunis, 72,000
- 1949, Maghazi, 24,000
- 1949, Nuseirat, 66,000
- 1949, Rafah camp, 104,000
- UNRWA:Relief & Social Services Programme Palestinian Refugees page, accessed March 30, 2013. (English)
- UNRWA (date unknown). Lebanon camp profiles. Retrieved from http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=73.
- Palestinians' bittersweet homecoming in Lebanon By William Wheeler, Christian Science Monitor, 3/5/08.
- Shuster, Mike (2002-10-03). The Mideast: A Century of Conflict Part 4: The 1967 Six Day War. NPR morning edition, October 3, 2002. Retrieved on 2008-12-28 from http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/history/transcripts/6day-p4.100302.html.
- UNWRA Camp Profiles
- Photo Essay: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, William Wheeler and Don Duncan World Politics Review, 11 March 2008
- Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
- Palestinian Refugees in Syria
- Palestinian Refugees in Jordan