Chan Yunis

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Chan Yunis
خان يونس
Administration : Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestinian Territories
Area: Gaza Strip
Governorate : Gaza
Founded : 1387
Coordinates : 31 ° 21 ′  N , 34 ° 18 ′  E Coordinates: 31 ° 20 ′ 40 "  N , 34 ° 18 ′ 11"  E
Residents : 174,240 (2014)
Time zone : UTC + 2
Community type: city
Website :
Chan Yunis (Palestinian Territories)
Chan Yunis
Chan Yunis
Chan Yunis on the map of the Gaza Strip

Chan Yunis ( Arabic خان يونس Chān Yūnis , DMG Ḫān Yūnis , in English oftentranscribedas Khan Yunis , Hebrew ח'אן יונס Khan Younis ) is a city and a refugee camp in Khan Yunis Governorate , the southern part of the Gaza Strip , which since 1994 de jure administered by the Palestinian Authority stands. The city of Chan Yunis and the refugee camp together have a population of around 220,000 (2014). Chan Yunis is the second largest city in the Gaza Strip after Gaza . Chan Yunis is one of the locations of the Al-Quds Open University .


The city is located around four kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and eight kilometers north of the Egyptian border . In terms of climate, Chan Yunis is located in a semi-arid region with an average annual rainfall of 260 millimeters.



Chan Yunis was founded in the 14th century.

The city has its origin in an old caravanserai (Han), built by the Emir Yunis in 1387 AD. The name of the city Chan Yunis goes back to its builder Yunis ibn Abdallah an-Nauruzi ad-Dawadar . He was the chief secretary and one of the highest officials of Barqūq , the first sultan of the Mamluks in Egypt . Its job was to protect the caravans, pilgrims and travelers of the time. The place later became an important center for trade, the weekly market took place on Thursdays and attracted traders from the neighboring regions. During the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948/49, Chan Yunis was occupied by Egyptian troops. On August 31, 1955, the Israeli army carried out a military action against Chan Yunis, as a guerrilla action against Israel had taken place from here. The action that killed over 70 Egyptian soldiers led to a ceasefire between Egypt and Israel.

During the Suez Crisis in 1956 fighting again broke out in Chan Yunis between the Israeli army and the 86th Palestinian Brigade of the Egyptian army.

In this context, 275 Palestinian civilians were killed. While Israel claimed to have encountered military resistance, the Palestinians claimed that Israel deliberately murdered unarmed civilians.

In 1967, during the Six Day War , Chan Yunis was also affected by fighting and bombing.

During the Israeli occupation (1967–2005), there were repeated violent clashes in Chan Yunis between Israeli security forces and members of Palestinian underground organizations, in the course of which bystanders were also harmed. The city is considered to be the stronghold of Hamas .

In 2006 Hamas took power in the Gaza Strip. Since the Israeli border blockade in 2005, over 2,000 Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel by Chan Yunis, mostly in the southern Israeli city of Sderot .

At the end of 2017, the Qatar- funded Sheikh Hamad City project was completed, a new residential area for more than a thousand families.

Refugee camp

The Chan Yunis refugee camp ( English Khan Younis camp ) is located not far from the city about two kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. It was built in 1949 in the west by Chan Yunis. Most of the residents are descendants of refugees who lived in villages around Beer Sheva or other communities in the Negev desert before the First Arab-Israeli War . In 2014 the refugee camp had around 46,000 inhabitants.

The refugee camp is divided into 13 blocks; some blocks in low-lying areas are flooded in winter. Most of the shelters are made of cement blocks and have asbestos roofs. There is no sewer network in the warehouse. All shelters are supplied with water from public and private wells.

The western block, "Block 1", was very close to the Israeli settlement block Gush Katif . Before the border closure of the Gaza Strip in September 2000, most of the refugees worked as workers in Israel or in local agriculture and fishing. In order to get to their work at the sea or to the farms in the Mawasi region near the sea, the workers had to pass an Israeli checkpoint at the entrance to the Gush Katif settlement block. Only when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip was the settlement area completely cleared in August 2005; the Israeli army began demolishing the houses immediately after the evacuation of the settlements.

Other refugees run shops and workshops. A public market is held every Wednesday.

The Relief and Social Services Department of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA) has captured several hundred houses in the Chan Yunis refugee camp that were destroyed by Israeli Forces (IDF) operations . UNRWA helps rebuild houses, provides education and medical aid.


Town twinning

Chan Yunis has partnerships with the French city of Évry , the Norwegian city of Hamar and the Spanish city of Almuñécar .


  • The old caravanserai , built during the reign of Yunis ibn Abdallah an-Nauruzi: initially planned as a station for travelers and traders, the Khan was expanded into a citadel during the Ottoman rule and served as a military base and post office.
  • The small archaeological museum displays many of the mosaics found in the Gaza region .
  • Chan Yunis' zoo, South Forest Park, opened in 2007. Due to the conflict with Israel, however, the animals could no longer be taken care of and starved in rows.


The cemetery is located in the middle of the city in a heavily populated area with many avenues and small squares. The family grave of the al-Qidwas, Yasser Arafat's paternal relatives, lies on it .


Chan Yunis lay on the Sinai Railway from Beirut via Lod to Cairo from 1916 until the section in question was closed in the 1970s or 1980s (until 1967). Today most of the railroad tracks in the Gaza Strip have been dismantled.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Palestinian Central Statistical Office
  2. HP of the QOU ( Memento of the original from December 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , last accessed on August 28, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Elagha ( Memento of the original from February 1, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Story of the Khan by Chan Yunis (en) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Israel's reprisal policy, 1953-1956: the dynamics of military retaliation By Zeʼev Derori. Page 142
  5. ^ Katz, Samuel M. (1988) Israeli Elite Units since 1948. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-837-4 . Page 10
  6. ^ Morris, Benny (1993) Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956. Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War . Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-827850-0 . Page 350.
  7. Varble, Derek The Suez Crisis in 1956 , Osprey: London, 2003 Page 46th
  8. Joe Sacco produces comics from the hot zones . New York Times.
  9. a b UNRWA Report to the UN General Assembly November 1 - December 14, 1956
  10. On the newsletter of the Israeli embassy ( memento of the original dated February 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on October 8, 2002, the district of al-Amal was named as a stronghold. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. Christoph Sydow, Dominik Peters, DER SPIEGEL: Gaza Strip: The Secret Diplomacy Between Israel and Qatar - DER SPIEGEL - Politics. Retrieved April 8, 2020 .
  13. Daniela Marcus: Khan Yunis: Every burial site has a problem . In: haGalil from November 1, 2004

Web links