Jabalia Camp

Jabalia camp. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al Saraj

Jabalia is the largest of the Gaza Strip's eight refugee camps. It is located north of Gaza City, close to a village of the same name. After the 1948 War, refugees settled in the camp, most having fled from villages in southern Palestine. Today, the camp covers an area of only 1.4 square kilometers. 116,011 Palestine Refugees are registered with UNRWA in Jabalia camp.



The blockade on Gaza has made life increasingly difficult for most refugees in the camp. Unemployment levels have risen dramatically, and fewer families can provide for themselves. Over the years, a staggering proportion of the population, who used to be largely self-sufficient, has become dependent on the UNRWA food assistance programme. 

Basic hygiene is also of great concern in the camp, with 90 per cent of the water being unfit for human consumption. 



Jabalia is the closest camp to the Erez border crossing between The Gaza Strip and Israel. According to OCHA, prior to the second intifada, more than 21,000 Palestinians crossed Erez to work in Israel each day. A new policy was implemented at the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000, and tightened after June 2007 following the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas. Under the new policy, only people belonging to specific Israeli-defined categories are eligible for an exit permit, subject to a security check. The vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza are not eligible to apply for an exit permit. In recent years, eligibility has expanded to include patients referred for medical treatment outside Gaza and their relatives, traders, staff of international organizations and exceptional humanitarian cases. According to OCHA, in June 2023, 42,220 persons were allowed to exit the Gaza Strip, while 55,689 persons were allowed to enter.



  • 32 UNRWA installations 
  • 16 school buildings accommodating 26 schools in total, of which six operate on a single-shift system and ten operate on double shifts
  • One food distribution centre 
  • Two health centres inside Jabalia camp and another one in the surrounding area called Saftawi 
  • Two area relief and social services offices 
  • One public library 
  • Seven water wells 
  • One maintenance and sanitation office 



  • Electricity cuts 
  • High unemployment 
  • Contaminated water supply 
  • Extremely high population density 
  • Lack of availability of construction materials 



Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Jabalia camp. Shelters are built in close proximity to one another and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families. Often, these lack proper design. Many live in substandard conditions. 

*Last Update in July 2023.


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

There are 116,011* Palestine Refugees registered in the camp as of 2023

* This figure does not claim to represent the actual number of Palestine Refugees present in the camp but merely the number of Palestine Refugees registered with UNRWA in the camp

Official camps

Jabalia is the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

It was established in 1948. 

Covering an area of 1.4 sq km

Unrwa In Jabalia Camp


UNRWA runs 26 schools in the camp, 16 school buildings.

Health Centre

Three health centres provide primary health care services to camp residents

Social Safety Net Beneficiaries

Two relief and social services office provide social services  to refugees in the camp