GENEVA - Almost one in 10 of Gazan children under five are now acutely malnourished, overwhelmingly as a result of Israel's war on the territory, according to initial U.N. data from arm measurements that show physical wasting.

Measurements of thousands of young children's and infants' arm circumferences showed that 9.6% were acutely malnourished, up about 12 times from pre-war levels, according to a note from the U.N. humanitarian office, OCHA.

In northern Gaza, the rate was 16.2%, or one in six.

The charity ActionAid said some Gazans were eating grass. "Every single person in Gaza is now hungry, and people have just 1.5 to 2 litres of unsafe water per day to meet all their needs," it said.