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Deir el-Balah Refugee Camp

Deir El-Balah refugee camp is a Palestinian refugee camp in Deir al-Balah Governorate, it is the smallest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps.

Where is Deir el-Balah Camp Located?

Deir El-Balah refugee camp is located on the Mediterranean coast, west of a town of the same name, in central Gaza. Deir al-Balah means "Monastery of the Dates", a reference to the abundant date palm groves in the area.

Tents provided temporary shelter to the camp’s original 9,000 refugees, who had fled their homes as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Most of the refugees who settled in Deir el-Balah were from villages in central and southern Palestine.

The tents were replaced by mud-brick shelters and, later, by cement block structures. There are now more than 20,000 refugees living in the camp.

Residents suffer from poverty and high unemployment, exacerbated by the blockade of Gaza. They also lack access to adequate drinking water and electricity, and are unable to build or expand their homes because of the ban on importing construction materials.

About Deir el-Balah Camp

  • Over 20,500 UNRWA registered refugees
  • Nine schools, four running on double shifts
  • One food distribution centre, shared with al-Maghazi camp
  • One health centre
Source: UNRWA
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Added: May 2011
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