Gazans forced to rely on contaminated seawater for daily needs: UN

Thousands of families in the Gaza Strip are forced to rely on contaminated seawater for their daily needs as Israel continues to block most of the humanitarian aid into the war-torn Palestinian enclave, leaving the population hungry and thirsty, the United Nations has warned.

“In Gaza’s burning summer heat, children have to wait in long queues to access minimal amounts of water,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said on X on Tuesday.

“Thousands of families are forced to rely on dirty sea water for their daily needs. Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to the #GazaStrip is urgently needed to save lives,” it added.

Gaza municipality spokesperson Husnu Mehna told Anadolu in early June that the Israeli army, which has continued its military offensive in the enclave for months, has destroyed 42 water wells and seawater desalination plants.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini also warned in a statement that Gaza had been decimated and become a “living hell” for more than 2 million people.

Israel has killed more than 37,600 Palestinians since the Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border incursion by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives. The onslaught has reduced the territory to a rubble and led to conditions of famine.

A “high and sustained risk” of famine persists across the Gaza Strip as long as the war continues, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification’s latest report on Tuesday.

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