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Who are Palestine refugees?

According to UNRWA, Palestine refugees are “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period June 1, 1946 to May 15, 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.

  • 1.3 million Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip (out of a total population of 1.9 million Palestinians)

  • 809,738 Palestine refugees in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)

  • Around half a million Palestine refugees in Syria

  • Around 450,000 Palestine refugees in Lebanon

  • 2 million+ Palestine refugees in Jordan


Palestine refugees are more than just numbers and statistics.

They are mothers, fathers, children, students who dream of a better future, business owners with hope for a better life, teachers, farmers, fishermen. They want to laugh, spend time with their families and live in dignity, just like you and me.