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Understanding Palestinian Refugees

Refugee Camps Near Bethlehem University

One hundred and thirty-three (4%) of Bethlehem University students live in refugee camps in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem, or Ramallah/Al-Bireh. Refugee Camps are areas of leased land, they are densely populated with poor socioeconomic conditions and insufficient infrastructure including roads, utilities, and sewers. Camps near to Bethlehem University include:


The United Nations Works and Relief Agency, was established following the 1948 War by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) on December 8, 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programs for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on May 1, 1950. In the absence of a lasting solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until June 30, 2026. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5.9 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.

Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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

Credit: UNRWA