Translated by, Saed Bannoura, IMEMC

Al-Fawwar means a fountain with strong water flooding out, that’s why the refugee camp was named Al-Fawwar, the 720 Dunums which is the size of the camp, belongs to a huge family from the village of Doura, near Hebron; the land was rented by the Jordanian government in 1950 and agreed with the family that the contract remains for 69 years.

The camp is located between Doura and Yatta, south of Hebron; it is only 6km away from the city of Doura, and 4km from Yatta.

After the “Nakba” the “Catastrophe”, in 1948, and forcing the Palestinians out of their lands and homes, huge number of displaced Palestinians stayed several weeks in the villages of Ithna and Tarqoumia, near Hebron, then the red Cross, erected tents during the years 1948-1949, and at that time the number of refugees in the camp was 4500-5000 refugees.

The refugee remained in the tents for more than nine years, then after the United Nations administered the camp in 1950, it started to build small rooms divided into three divisions;

Room A; 6 meters wide, designed to host 1-3 persons.

Room B, 7.5 Meters, designed to host 4-6 persons.

Room C, 10 Meters, and designed to host 7-9 persons.

The United Nations later on, established two schools, one for males and one for females, the males school included 1000 students, while the females school included 1080 student.

Several health units were established including showers and a clinic which provides health care and simple health services to the residents.

It is worth mentioning that the United Nations Relief Association provides similar services to, whether financial or aide, to 29 refugee camp, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The UN has two programs fro providing humanitarian aid to the refugees; First, provided the refugee with basic household need, such as food, wheat, in addition to 10 U.S Dollar for each person.

Second, emergent aid, which is conducted by providing the unemployed refugees with the basic needs of food products.

These services are provided in addition to the main services such as Health, Garbage waste, construction and environment.

More than 7000 refugees emigrated from the camp after the June, 1967 war, while 4000 refugees remained in the camp.

According to latest statistics, there is a high percentage of education residents in the camp, while the majority of the workers depend on working in Israel and some neighboring settlements.

So far, Al-Fawwar refugee camp is considered in area “C”, which means that it is under full Israeli control, arrests became a daily event, invasions and the huge concrete wall which is erected on the entrance of the camp, which limits the freedom and movement of more than 4000 residents living in the camp.

Al-Fawwar had its own share in the resistant and casualties, it lost more than twenty-five of its residents during the years, as a result of various military assaults.

But, the inevitable question which remains here, after 56 years of Nakba, of Diaspora, will those refugees ever have the chance to return? Are their rights of return guaranteed? Will there misery ever end?!