Maabarot were temporary immigrant absorption camps composed of tents which housed Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa in Israel in the 1950s. As the State of Israel began to build permanent housing for its residents, the use of Maabarot housing declined. Often life in Maabarot was very severe. Sanitation was substandard and shelter was not always adequate. Some Maabarot became development towns such as Sderot, Beit She’an, Yokneam, Or Yehuda and Kiriyat Shmona. The last Maabara (singular for Maabarot) was closed in 1963.