UN Security Council calls for 'humanitarian pauses' in Gaza

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution calling for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses" in fighting in the Gaza Strip. This came after four unsuccessful attempts to respond to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The council voted on a draft resolution presented by Malta at an emergency session on Wednesday.

The draft expressed deep concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and its impact on children in particular.

The document demanded compliance with international law with regard to the protection of civilians, especially children. It also called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to get relief supplies to children.

Twelve members, including Japan, France and China, voted in favor. The United States, Britain and Russia abstained.

Previous resolutions were rejected due to differences between the US, which defends Israel's position, and Russia and China, which support the Palestinians.

The latest draft focused on improving the humanitarian situation of children to allow countries to compromise.

More than 4,600 children have been killed in Gaza.

Japan's UN Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro welcomed the outcome, saying the Security Council could finally take action.

He also stressed that the UN body should continue to be involved in order to prevent the spread of hostilities and to bring peace and stability.

The US said it could not vote "yes" on a text that did not condemn Hamas. Russia argued that humanitarian pauses cannot replace a ceasefire.

Israel described the resolution as "disconnected from reality," and said it will continue its military operations against Hamas.