According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the camp was estimated to have a population of 9,399 in 2006, following a natural population growth from 8,829 persons in 2004 and 9,114 persons in 2005. However, there are different estimates of the camp population depending upon the surface that is included; UNRWA – the UN organization which takes care of especially education and health services in the camp - estimates a figure of over 13.000.

The refugees and their forefathers mainly come from villages to the south-west of Jerusalem and the west of Hebron, which they were forced to leave in the war of 1948.

Like other refugee camps, the population is highly politicized, and the right of return is a major principle that is upheld. Many of the camp dwellers have been in prison, often at a young age. Children have witnessed serious forms of violence in their families and social surroundings; for instance when family members were arrested by the Israeli army.  Several NGOs have been established in the camp, and provide social and cultural services to the camp dwellers.

The classification of the active labour force is as follows:


  • UNRWA employees 11%
  • public sector 29%
  • private sector 55%
  • Inter/NGO organisations 4%

The household poverty rate is 31.5% (18.2% absolute poverty).

The average monthly household income is NIS 949.

The employment rate is 66.7%

The female (un)employment rates are unknown.

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