Palestine / Cities and Towns /
Arabic: khān yūnis
Other spelling: Khan Yunnis
City and refugee camp in Palestine, on the Gaza Strip, with 200,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate). It is situated 4 km inland from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
14th century Mamluk fort.
The city has its name from the fort, or khan, built by a Mamluk official named Yunis in the 1380's. The fort was built to protect the pilgrim route between Jerusalem and Mecca.
Khan Yunis serves as a market place for local agriculture. Khan Yunis is among the most radical and conservative of all Palestinian cities, a long-time stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, later Hamas, and practically all women wear the niqab.
Until 2005, there was a Jewish settlement between the city and the sea.
Khan Yunis has 260 mm annual rainfall.
Gaza, the city, is 25 km north.
The oldest known name of the settlement is Salqah.
1380's: A fort is built to protect the pilgrim routes between Jerusalem and Mecca, as well as a strategic point on the route between Cairo and the Levant.
1948: A refugee camp is established here following the First Palestinian War. With the establishment of the state of Israel, Khan Yunis together with the rest of the Gaza Strip becomes part of Egypt.
1967: As part of the Six-Day War, Khan Yunis together with the rest of the Gaza Strip is occupied by Israel.
2005: Jewish settlement between Khan Yunis and the sea is abandoned.