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Ein as-Sultan

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ʿEin/ʿAin as-Sulṭān
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic مخيّم عين سلطان
 • Also spelled Ayn al-Sulṭān (official)
ʿEin/ʿAin as-Sulṭān is located in the Palestinian territories
ʿEin/ʿAin as-Sulṭān
ʿEin/ʿAin as-Sulṭān
Location of ʿEin/ʿAin as-Sulṭān within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°52′40.24″N 35°26′46.24″E / 31.8778444°N 35.4461778°E / 31.8778444; 35.4461778Coordinates: 31°52′40.24″N 35°26′46.24″E / 31.8778444°N 35.4461778°E / 31.8778444; 35.4461778
Governorate Jericho
Founded 1948
Population (2005)
 • Jurisdiction 1,732
  (plus some non-refugees)
Name meaning Sultan's Spring

ʿEin as-Sulṭān alsoʿAin Sulṭān Camp (Arabic: مخيّم عين سلطان‎‎) is a village and Palestinian refugee camp in the Jericho Governorate in the eastern West Bank situated in the Jordan Valley, located 1 kilometers north-west of Jericho near the spring ʿEin as-Sulṭān. ʿEin as-Sulṭān had a population of over 1,469 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[1] In 1997, refugees constituted 81% of the population.[2]


The first permanent settlement built near ancient Jericho was at Tell es-Sultan by the Ein es-Sultan spring, between 8000 and 7000 BC, by an unknown people, and consisted of a number of walls, a religious shrine, and a 23-foot (7.0 m) tower with an internal staircase. After a few centuries, it was abandoned for a second settlement established in 6800 BC close by.[3]

To the Christians the spring is known as Elisha's Spring and the Byzantines built there a domed church dedicated to Saint Eliseus.[4]

The Crusaders improved the water mills at Ein es-Sultan to crush sugar cane in tawahin es-sukkar (sugar mills) and exported the sugar to Jerusalem.[5][6] The Crusaders are credited with introducing sugarcane production to the city.[7]

ʿEin as-Sulṭān camp was established in 1948, on 870 dunums of arid land below the Mount of Temptation. Just before the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, the camp had accommodated some 20,000 refugees. During the hostilities the majority of the refugees fled across the Jordan River to Jordan.[8]

In 1987 the authorities tried to expel as many of the refugees as they could. The US reports state that the refugees were suffering from "deteriorating economic circumstances".[9]

Today, ʿEin Sulṭān has a small population of only 1,732 registered refugees. Some non-refugees have moved onto the camp's lands and built illegal homes as there is over-crowding and Israel authorities controls the issuing of building permits.[10][11]


Water scarcity is a major problem in this arid area, especially during the summer. The springs Ein as-Sultan, Ayn al-Nuway'mia and Ayn al Duyuk were utilised during the Roman occupation for irrigation to cultivate the land.[12] After 1975 the water from the spring Ein as-Sultan, was collected in 4 small basins.[9] UNRWA supplies Ein Sultan with water by pumping it from a nearby spring. The out fall of spring is close to Tell el-Sultan, the site of ancient Jericho.[13] During the summer months, water shortages in the camp cause tremendous hardship for the refugees.[14] However, the Israeli water company Mekorot has become the main supplier of water to the camp after Israel took control of water sources.[10]

Following the signing of the 1994 Gaza–Jericho Agreement and Israeli army redeployment, the camp came under the control of the Palestinian National Authority.[10]

In 2002, two stories were added to Ein Sultan School, including a new library, multi-purpose room, additional three class rooms and computer lab.

Notable people


  1. ^ Projected Mid-Year Population for Jericho District by Locality 2004-2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status (1997) Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  3. ^ Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; Berney, K. A.; Schellinger, Paul E. (1994). International dictionary of historic places. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-884964-03-6, ISBN 978-1-884964-03-9. p. 367–370.
  4. ^ Jericho - (Ariha) Studium Biblicum Franciscum - Jerusalem.
  5. ^ Michael Dumper, Bruce E. Stanley, Janet L. Abu-Lughod (2007) Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1-57607-919-8 p 205
  6. ^ Abraham L. Udovitch (1981) The Islamic Middle East, 700-1900: Studies in Economic and Social History Darwin Press, ISBN 0-87850-030-8 p 122
  7. ^ Hull, Edward (1855). Mount Seir, Sinai and Western Palestine. Richard Bently and Sons.
  8. ^ Laurie A. Brand (1991) Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution Building and the Search for State Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-06723-2, p 152
  9. ^ a b Near East/South Asia Report By United States Foreign Broadcast Information Service, United States Joint Publications Research Service Published by Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1987 pp 16 and 28
  10. ^ a b c Ein Sultan United Nations Relief and Works Agency 1 March 2005.
  11. ^ Badil
  12. ^ Nagendra Kr Singh, Nagendra Kumar Singh (2000) International Encyclopaedia of Islamic Dynasties Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., ISBN 81-261-0403-1 p 218
  13. ^ Franciscan Cyberspot
  14. ^ UNRWA camp profile

External links