For the 10,000 people living in Dheisheh, Christmas was an ordinary day. Children were playing in the streets, men working in the nearby marble industry and women at home for domestic work. Dheisheh, Palestinian Territory. 25/12/2010
Dheisheh Refugee Camp is located just south of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Dheisheh was established in 1949 on land leased from the Jordanian government.
The camp was established as a temporary refuge for 3,400 Palestinians from 45 villages west of Jerusalem and Hebron who fled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Six decades of natural population growth have expanded the camp's dimensions into an area between 1 and 1.5 square kilometers. Although initially living in tents, the residents have since constructed homes.
By comparison, Dheisheh camp would be the 6th largest after Balata, Askar, Tulkarm, Jenin, and Qalandiya (in that order), according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
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