The conflict in Gaza has created unprecedented soil, water and air pollution in the region, destroying sanitation systems and leaving tons of debris from explosive devices, a United Nations report on the environmental impact of the war said on Tuesday.

The war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, has swiftly reversed limited progress in improving the region's water desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, restoring the Wadi Gaza coastal wetland, and investments in solar power installations, according to a preliminary assessment from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).

Explosive weapons have generated some 39 million tons of debris, the report said. Each square meter of the Gaza Strip is now littered with more than 107 kilograms of debris. That is more than five times the debris generated during the battle for Mosul, Iraq, in 2017, the report said.