The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday called for humanitarian pauses and the protection of civilians in the war-torn Gaza Strip, in its first resolution adopted since last month's attack on Israel by Hamas militants.

The key panel of the world body passed the resolution with the backing of a majority of its 15 members, after four similar motions failed due to splits between the United States, and Russia and China, all of which hold vetoes as permanent members.

The council "calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip," the resolution said.

The resolution, sponsored by Malta, called for "the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children."

The U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses and the protection of civilians in the war-torn Gaza Strip at a meeting in New York on Nov. 15, 2023. (Kyodo)

Israel said the attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 killed 1,200 people, while Israel's bombardment has left over 11,000 dead, including more than 4,000 children, according to Gaza health authorities.

The resolution also said the council rejects "forced displacement of the civilian population, including children," and expressed "deep concern that the disruption of access to education has a dramatic impact on children."

Israel has suspended military operations in parts of northern Gaza for four hours at a time, urging residents to head to southern areas.

Twelve members, including Japan, backed the resolution in Wednesday's vote, while Russia, Britain and the United States, which backs Israel, abstained.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the council Washington had refrained from vetoing the resolution "to save innocent lives."

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