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The Ma'abarot were refugee absorption camps in Israel in the 1950s. The Ma'abarot were meant to provide accommodation for the large influx of Jewish refugees and new Jewish immigrants (Olim) arriving to the newly independent State of Israel, replacing the less habitable immigrant camps or tent cities. The ma'abarot began to decline by mid-1950s and were largely transformed into Development Towns. The last Ma'abara was closed in 1963.

Over time, the Ma'abarot metamorphosed into Israeli towns, or were absorbed as neighbourhoods of the towns they were attached to, and residents were provided with permanent housing. The number of people housed in Ma'abarot began to decline since 1952, and the last Ma'abarot were closed sometime around 1963. Most of the camps transformed into Development Towns - "Ayarat Pitu'ach". Ma'abarot which became towns include Kiryat ShmonaSderot, Beit She'an, Yokneam, Or Yehuda and Migdal HaEmek.

Israeli satirist Ephraim Kishon produced a satirical film about the Ma'abarot called Sallah Shabbati. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and is regarded as an Israeli classic.

Source: Wikipedia