Beach camp

The third largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps – and one of the most crowded – Beach refugee camp is known locally as "Shati". The camp is on the Mediterranean coast in the Gaza City area.

Beach refugee camp initially accommodated 23,000 refugees who fled from Lydd, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva and other areas of Palestine. The camp is now home to more than 84,077 refugees, who all reside in an area of only 0.52 square kilometres.

Beach camp, Gaza Strip. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam
Beach camp, Gaza Strip. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam

Streets and alleys in the camp are often very narrow and the area is considered among the most densely populated in the world


Unemployment has risen considerably since the blockade was imposed on Gaza, making life more difficult for most refugees in Beach camp. Far fewer families can provide for themselves and a huge proportion of the population is dependent food and cash assistance provided by UNRWA. 

At the same time, the ban on entry of cement and gravel has made it impossible for refugees to build or repair shelters. Basic hygiene is also of great concern, as 90 per cent of the water is unfit for human consumption.

Fishing limit

The Israel Defense Forces’ imposition of a three-mile fishing limit has particularly affected Beach camp. The diminished fishing catch has led to lost livelihoods and increased poverty.

Major challenges

High unemployment rates, overcrowdedness, power cuts and an unstable electricity supply, a contaminated water supply and lack of construction materials are some of the more pressing challenges facing Beach camp residents.


We provide services in 8 Palestine refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.

Quick Facts

Refugees in camps

More than 84,000 registered refugees live in Beach camp

Official camps

Covering an area of 0.52 square kilometres, Beach camp is one of the most densely populated areas worldwide

Unrwa In Beach camp


Ten school buildings accommodate 19 schools, 18 of which run double shifts

Health Centre

One health centre provides primary health services to camp residents

UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
Join the #DignityIsPriceless campaign to stand up #ForPalestineRefugees