Remember Us

The following information is a excerpt from the "Assistance to Ex-Gaza refugees in Jerash Camp, Jordan; Survey Report" compiled by the EU (European Union) and UNRWA (United Nations Relief Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) as of 2007.

Legal Status

The main group of ex-Gazans in Jordan are refugees who were displaced twice, first by the 1948 war that led the creation of the state of Israel, and again as a result of the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip, that had remained under Egyptian sovereignty since 1948. Upon arrival to Jordan, they were granted temporary Jordanian passports although not citizenship rights. The passport serves as documenting the ex-Gazans in Jordan as temporary residents and providing them with travel documents at the international level so that they may access countries other than Jordan. According to international law, since there is no Palestine state, Palestinian citizenship is non-existent today. Palestinians who have not acquired the nationality of a third state therefore continue to be stateless6.

Ex-Gazans lack of citizenship is translated into several legal restrictions that limit their rights and contribute to their vulnerable living conditions. These restrictions include:

  • Restrictions to their participation in the political sphere:

  • Ex-Gazans can not vote or be represented in the parliament, in addition to this they can not register in any political party.

  • Restrictions to their participation in the labour market include:

    1. Ex-Gazans are not allowed to work with the government except on a casual basis. The government is considered the major employer in Jordan; 37%7 of those employed are working with the government.

    2. Ex-Gazans are barred from practicing several professions such as law, agriculture engineering, journalism and health care professions (except for medicine and nursing for which license to practice the profession is given but should be renewed yearly and is limited for working with hospital or clinic for which it was originally issued) due to requirement of possessing Jordanian citizenship or to have reciprocal treatment8 in the country of foreign national wishing to practice this profession. Due to the absence of even a Palestinian citizenship, the ex-Gaza refugees are thus disadvantaged to other foreign nationals seeking work in Jordan9.

    3. Ex-Gazans also experience difficulties in obtaining licenses for establishing a private business outside the camp boundaries; special security clearance/approval should be obtained from ministry of interior and department of intelligence which is rarely granted. In this aspect as well, the ex-Gaza refugees are also disadvantaged to other foreign national seeking investment in Jordan, where the only restriction on the later is the size of capital and in some sectors partnership with a Jordanian national.

    4. Access to domestic employment by (larger) companies may also be denied, as national Intelligence may not grant the required approval. There are no written instructions regarding intelligence department approval; nevertheless, it is a requirement.
    5. Ex-Gazans are excluded from the training and employment programmes launched by the government to decrease unemployment rates in the country and equip young people with the skills and experience that will pave their road and enhance their access to the labour market.
    6. Ex-Gazans are not allowed to become members in cooperative associations which could enable them to establish an income generating project. This as well requires possessing a Jordanian citizenship.
    7. Ex-Gazans are not allowed to work in 5 and 4 stars hotels; the ex-Gaza refugees are also disadvantaged to other foreign national living in Jordan, where only a working permit is required from the latter.
    8. Finally, ex-Gazans are not allowed to obtain public driver’s licenses.

  • Restrictions on access to Education services provided by the government:
  • Laws and regulations for school level education (elementary, preparatory and secondary) treat ex-Gazans similarly to Jordanians with national number in terms of fees; which is also applicable for vocational training and community colleges. The only difference is that holders of a two-year passport are required to obtain an approval from the DPA. With regard to Higher Education, laws and regulations treat ex-Gazans who wish to enrol in university for undergraduate or postgraduate studies, as an international student. This is translated into paying much higher fees. The only means by which a student may get a seat for which he/she can pay a Jordanian fee is by applying through the camp Royal Quota or through the Palestinian Embassy in Amman.

  • Access to health services provided by the government:
  • Recently, a royal decree was issued in March 2007 to include ex-Gazans in health services provided by the government – Cabinet Ministers’ decision number 3895 and 4108 states that:
    1. Ex-Gazans are treated as holders of Jordanian citizenship without health insurance.

    2. Children under 6 are treated as their Jordanian counterpart.

    3. Upon studying the socio-economic condition of cancer or renal failure patients, the Minister of Health has the authority to decide if partial or full exemption would be granted.

          Financial and social services provided by the government:
         Ex-Gazans are denied benefits from the social and financial support provided by the Ministry of Social Development and National Aid Funds.

         Ownership of property:
         Ex-Gazans are denied the right to own property.
         This include land and building.
         Buying or registering a car needs a security approval from intelligence department.

6 Oroub El-Abid, Immobile Palestinians “ The Impact of Polices and Practices on Palestinians from Gaza in Jordan” 7 Department of statistics, Jordan (2006) –

8 Condition of reciprocity treatment: A mutual or cooperative interchange of favors or privileges, especially the exchange of rights or privileges of work and trade between nations.

9 Information obtained from Professional Societies/Union and Jordanian Ministry of Heath


Make a Free Website with Yola.