UN says children drinking salty water in Gaza

Children are facing a “catastrophic” situation in Gaza, with parents left with no choice but to give them salty water, according to the UN chidren’s aid agency Unicef.

Toby Fricker, a spokesperson for the body, told BBC News the shortages that existed in Gaza even before the current conflict had been “raised to another level”.

“One of our staff members, she has a four-year-old, a seven-year-old, and she’s just trying to keep girls safe, to keep them alive on an everyday basis,” he said.

“She spoke about how they’re just drinking salty water, and her daughter’s saying, ‘Mum, why can’t I have the normal water back we used to have in regular days?’

Asked about the aid supplies that have now been able to enter Gaza, Fricker said: “There have been supplies in, but it’s extremely minimal.

“When you see the immense needs on the ground that we have, there needs to be many, many, many more.”

Fricker called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and the scaling up of aid supplies into Gaza “on a sustained basis”.

“What we’re seeing now on an everyday basis is that children are being killed, children are being wounded, maimed,” he said.

“And that’s the number one thing – to protect children’s lives and to keep children alive.”