Jabalia Camp

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 Arab-Israeli war in 1948, 35,000 refugees settled in the camp, most having fled from villages in southern Palestine.

Today, nearly 119,486 registered refugees live in the camp, which covers an area of only 1.4 square kilometres.

Jabalia camp. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al Saraj
Jabalia camp. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al Saraj

The blockade on Gaza has made life more difficult for nearly all refugees in the camp. Unemployment levels have risen dramatically, and fewer families can provide for themselves. A staggering proportion of the population is dependent on UNRWA food and cash assistance, which gives these previously self-sufficient families the basic dignity of food on the table.

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

Jabalia is the closest camp to Erez border crossing with Israel. According to OCHA, before the second Intifada, more than 21,000 Palestinians crossed Erez to work in Israel each day. Since 12 June 2007, the crossing has been closed to pedestrian traffic, with very limited exceptions made for medical and business cases.

Major problems

Limited electricity supply with extended power cuts, a contaminated water supply, high unemployment rates and overcrowdedness are some of the more pressing challenges facing 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

Nearly 119,486 registered refugees live in Jabalia camp

Official camps

Jabalia is the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. It was established in 1948. 

Unrwa In Jabalia Camp


UNRWA runs 24 schools in the camp, two-thirds of which run on double shifts

Health Centre

Three health centres provide primary health care 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