History and Background
The camp was initially established to hold around 5,471 Palestinians who were displaced from some 52 villages in the Lydd, Ramleh, Haifa, Jerusalem and Hebron areas during the 1948 Nakba.2 Prior to moving to the camp, those refugees languished in makeshift camps near Ramallah and al-Bireh. In 2006, OCHA estimated the number of residents at 11,581.3 Today, according to Afaq Environmental Magazine, Qalandia Refugee Camp population has reached 14,000 residents.
Following Israel's occupation of the rest of Palestine in 1967, nearly 400 families (2,400 people) left the camp. For those who left the camp, it was a case of having to leave ‘home’ for the second time in less than 19 years. The 'refugee forced to become a refugee in another place’ is an experience which has characterized the Palestinian plight since 1948.
According to the Oslo Agreement, all of Qalandia Refugee Camp territory was classified as area “C”, where Israel retains full control over security and administration related to the territory; however, Qalandia camp, like other Palestinian refugee