Trinta e quatro anos já passaram desde o massacre de Sabra e Shatila nos campos de refugiados palestinianos em Beirute em meados de Setembro de 1982. Os palestinianos, desde então, comemoram esse massacre no dia 16 de Setembro de cada ano (o massacre ocorreu durante 3 dias) com muita dor e tristeza, exactamente como fazem com outras 29 massacres cometidos contra eles desde a criação do Estado de Israel pelas mãos dos Sionistas. A longa lista de crimes inclui os massacres infames em Deir Yassin, Kufr Qasem, Tantoura, Lida, Al Dawayima, Qibya, Sa’sa e Abu Shusha.
Who are Palestine refugees?
Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
UNRWA services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.
Where do Palestine refugees live?
Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
A Palestine refugee camp is defined as a plot of land placed at the disposal of UNRWA by the host government to accommodate Palestine refugees and set up facilities to cater to their needs. Areas not designated as such and are not recognized as camps. However, UNRWA also maintains schools, health centres and distribution centres in areas outside the recognized camps where Palestine refugees are concentrated, such as Yarmouk, near Damascus.
The plots of land on which the recognized camps were set up are either state land or, in most cases, land leased by the host government from local landowners. This means that the refugees in camps do not ‘own’ the land on which their shelters were built, but have the right to ‘use’ the land for a residence.
Socioeconomic conditions in the camps are generally poor, with high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers.
In the aftermath of the hostilities of June 1967 and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, ten camps were established to accommodate a new wave of displaced persons, both refugees and non-refugees.