Generations of Palestinians have been living as refugees since 1948 when the State of Israel was created, which displaced millions of Palestinians. Today, there are around 5 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. Approximately one-third live in 58 camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while the rest live in cities near the camps. Social and economic conditions in the camps, as well as in Gaza and the West Bank, are very poor, with high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers.
Over the decades, there have been flare-ups of violence in Gaza and the West Bank that have caused mass destruction of infrastructure, cut electricity and water, and significantly traumatized the population, most recently in August 2014. Renewed fighting at the time left over 100,000 people displaced, and destroyed schools and hospitals. Embargoes make it extremely difficult for the population to recover from these events, leaving them in a constant state of humanitarian crisis.
The construction of a separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories has further impacted the living conditions for Palestinians. Many have been displaced from their land, access to employment has been cut off, and freedom of movement has been significantly reduced.