The Intertwined History of Shu‘fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem: The Making of Refugees
Special Feature: 
Shu'fat Refugee Camp
oral history

Shu‘fat refugee camp in Jerusalem is the only Palestinian refugee camp under direct Israeli control. This essay traces the history and origins of the establishment of Shu‘fat refugee camp through oral history interviews with the camp refugees. The author also highlights the role of UNRWA in the establishment of the camp, and Jordanian policies in Jerusalem and regarding refugees during its period of rule in Palestine. Oral history narratives are complemented by the available literature on the history of Palestine and Jerusalem, and by documents and correspondence of the Arab municipality of Jerusalem dating back to the early 1960s. The author discovers that not all camp residents were refugees expelled from their towns and villages in 1948; many of them were given UNRWA refugee cards upon an agreement between UNRWA and the Jordanian government in the mid-1960s.

Author biography: 

Halima Abu Haneya holds a PhD in social sciences from Birzeit University in Palestine. This article is based on a chapter of her PhD thesis, approved in 2021, under the title, “Thwarting Settler-Colonial Policies through Urban Self-Development: The Case of Shu‘fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem.”