"Threats go beyond the bombs and mortars”, UNICEF’s James Elder stressed. Infant deaths due to dehydration are “a growing threat” in the enclave as Gaza’s water production is at five per cent of the required volume due to non-functioning desalination plants which are either damaged or lack fuel.

When the fighting finally stops, the costs to children “will be borne out for decades to come”, he said, due to the horrific trauma faced by survivors.