- Estimated population density is77,464 per sq km
Aida camp was established in 1950 on land UNRWA leased from the government of Jordan. The camp is located between the municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem. It is partially surrounded by the West Bank Barrier and is near to Har Homa and Gilo, two large Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law. These factors, along with the constant military presence and the camps’ proximity to the main checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, have made the camp vulnerable to a number of protection concerns. These include regular incursions by the Israeli military, clashes involving camp residents, many of whom are children, and an increasing number of injuries as a result of excessive force by the Israeli military.
Aida refugee camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Dominiek Benoot
After the Oslo Accords, the majority of Aida camp fell under Palestinian control (Area A), while some of its periphery (such as the main road running alongside the Barrier) fell under Israeli control (Area C). As a result of the Barrier and its associated regime, residents now have limited access to job opportunities in Israel and East Jerusalem.
The Barrier has also isolated Aida camp from the surrounding recreational area that was once available to residents. Residents have responded by organizing a recreational space on the border of the camp, including a playground, garden and a soccer field.
Aida camp covers a small area of 0.71 square kilometres that is insufficient to house the growing refugee population. As such, it faces severe overcrowding problems. Poor personal safety and access (due to the camp’s proximity to the West Bank Barrier) and poor infrastructure are also cited by camp residents as among the most urgent challenges they face.
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REFUGEE CAMPS IN the West Bank
Refugees in camps
- Aida camp was established in 1950
- It covers 0.071 sq km
- The camp itself has one schools, but students also go to a nearby UNRWA school
- Around 16,00 students attend both schools
- There is no health centre in the camp, with residents accessing the UNRWA health centre in Bethlehem one kilometre away
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