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TitleSurvey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2004-2005
File Size6.7 MB
Total Pages265
Document Text Contents
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Palestinian Refugees
and Internally

Displaced Persons

is a member of the Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition

Survey of

2004 - 2005

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The is published annually by BADIL Resource Center.
The provides an overview of one of the largest and longest-standing unresolved refugee and displaced
populations in the world today. It is estimated that two out of every five of today’s refugees are Palestinian.

The has several objectives:
(1) It aims to provide basic information about Palestinian displacement – i.e., the circumstances of displacement,
the size and characteristics of the refugee and displaced population, as well as the living conditions of Palestinian
refugees and internally displaced persons;
(2) It aims to clarify the framework governing protection and assistance for this displaced population; and
(3) It sets out the basic principles for crafting durable solutions for Palestinian refugees and internally displaced
persons, consistent with international law, relevant United Nations Resolutions and best practice.

In short, the endeavors to address the lack of information or misinformation about Palestinian refugees and
internally displaced persons, and to counter political arguments that suggest that the issue of Palestinian refugees
and internally displaced persons can be resolved outside the realm of international law and practice applicable to
all other refugee and displaced populations.

The examines the status of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons on a thematic basis. Chapter
One provides a short historical background to the of Palestinian mass displacement. Chapter Two examines
the of the Palestinian refugee and displaced population. Chapter Three provides a basic
overview of the of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. Chapters Four and Five examine

. Chapter Six provides an overview of the . Each
chapter includes basic background information and highlights from the previous year The also provides a
list of recommendations concerning implementation of the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced
persons in the context of a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

The complements other information and advocacy materials prepared for BADIL’s
and for the Global Coalition for the Right of Return. Many of the specific issues raised in the

are addressed in more detail in other BADIL publications.

BADIL Resource Center
May 2006

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Survey of Palestinian Refugees and
Internally Displaced Persons (2004-2005)

Source: Statistical Yearbook 2001/2002 No. 38. Amman: UNRWA Department of Education, 2003.

Fegure 4.1 - Percentage of Refugee Students in UNRWA, Government and Private Schools, 2003

providing education for refugees at the elementary and preparatory level. Slightly less
than one-third of refugees are enrolled in public schools (i.e. government schools).31
Those who can afford tuition fees may attend private schools. Refugees may attend
post-secondary institutions, where tuition fees must be paid.

In the period of July 2004 to June 2005, 229,530 Palestinian refugee pupils were
enrolled in government and private schools.32

4.2.3 Housing and Infrastructure

Arab host states also provide state or rented land for the 59 UNRWA-serviced refugee
camps located in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and in the occupied Palestinian territories, as
well as varying degrees of infrastructure for the camps.

In Syria, the government provided land for the establishment of refugee camps, some
of which were located in old military barracks. The Syrian government and UNRWA
are currently working together to bring housing standards in camps situated in old
barracks up to international standards. This includes reconstruction work in Neirab
refugee camp. The Syrian government also covered the cost of linking water and
sanitation systems in the camps to municipal networks, and costs of improving other
basic infrastructure in refugee camps.33

In Jordan, refugee camps are located on both state land and land rented by the
government from private property owners. The government owns less than one-third
of the built-up areas of the camps.34 Following the 1993 Oslo Accords, several private
landowners resorted to the courts to regain access to valuable real estate. None of these


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efforts, however, have so far resulted in the removal of refugee camps. The Jordanian
government also provides water, electricity and communications for the camps, and
takes care of pathways and roads.

In Lebanon, camps were established on government and private land. In the 1950s,
however, some private landowners resorted to the courts in order to remove Palestinian
refugees from their lands. The government demanded that UNRWA relocate some of the
refugee camps elsewhere in Lebanon and relocate certain refugees who had settled around
the official camps without alternative land having been provided for that purpose.35
Refugee camps are not permitted to connect to municipal sewerage networks.

Egypt established refugee camps in Cairo (al-’Abbasiyya) and in al-Qantara. A smaller
number of refugees managed to secure private accommodation in the country. The
camps were eventually closed in 1949, and Palestinian refugees found housing mainly
in Cairo and Alexandria or in camps in the Gaza Strip, which was then under Egyptian

In Iraq, Palestinian refugees were originally housed in schools and other public buildings.
The government also rented, or subsidized the rental of, housing for these refugees.
In the 1970s, the government built high-rise apartment blocks to resolve the housing
crisis in Baghad and Mosul.36 All national housing assistance came to a halt in 2003 in
the context of the war in and occupation of Iraq, and has not been resumed since. The
ongoing conflict in Iraq continues to have a detrimental effect on the ability of national
authorities to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees there, and provision of assistance
has become the responsibility of the international community. (See Chapter Five.)

In the occupied Gaza Strip, approximately two-thirds of refugee camp sites are state land
and one-third is private land,37 which was provided to UNRWA by the Jordanian and
Egyptian authorities prior to Israel’s occupation of the area. In the West Bank, most of
the camps were established on private land. Since 2003, additional land has been made

UNRWA housing project, Rafah
Camp, Gaza Strip, 2004 (Ron

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- living conditions – 77-99
- assistance – 109-114
- protection – 151-158

Taba Agreement (see interim agreements)

Tal az-Za’ater – 89

Tarshiha - 18

al-Tira - 57

Tripoli - 59

Tulkarem – 59, 206

Turkey – 7, 165, 200

Tzipi Livni - 25

Umm Rashrash (Eilat) - 16

United Nations
- Department of Political Affairs - 165
- General Assembly – viii, xi, 49, 118, 159, 165-

166, 168-169, 173-174, 190, 195, 197-198,
214, 215-216

o Resolution 181 – 3, 8, 10, 165
o Resolution 194 – xviii, 190-192
o Resolution 302 – 117
o Resolution ES-10/14 – 25
o Resolution ES-10/15 – xi, 172, 190

- International Conference on the Question of
Palestine - 191

- Mediator for Palestine – xviii, 165, 192, 195, 197,

- Secretary General – 118, 165, 168-169, 172-173,

- Security Council – xviii, 168, 170, 172, 192, 197,

o Resolution 237 – xiii, xvi, 191, 207
- Temporary Trusteeship - 10

United Kingdom – 119, 161

United States – viii, 14, 55, 119, 160, 165, 172, 210,
212, 215-216

Voluntariness (also see refugee choice) – xix, 189, 192

Wavel – 59, 202

World Bank – 80, 83

World Health Organization - 125

World Jewish Congress - 120

Yalu - 21

al-Yarmouk – 57, 58, 85, 86

Zarqa – 58, 111

Zionism – xix, 4, 8, 10
- Basle Program – xix, 4
- British Zionist Federation – xiii, 7

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