UN Security Council
UN Security CouncilCarlo Allegri/REUTERS

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday approved a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses to the Gaza war”.

The resolution passed by a 12-0 vote, with three countries abstaining - the United States, Great Britain and Russia.

The US, which has veto power in the Security Council, said it supported the resolution but did not vote for it because it failed to condemn Hamas.

A draft resolution seen before the vote by CNN called for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners.”

The draft resolution also called for the release of “all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children” and for all parties to “refrain from depriving the civilian population in the Gaza strip of basic services and humanitarian assistance.”

The resolution, drafted by Malta, had already received the backing of the UN’s 22-member Arab states, according to CNN.

Responding to the approval of the resolution, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said, “The Council’s resolution is disconnected from reality and is meaningless. Regardless of what the Council decides, Israel will continue acting according to international law while the Hamas terrorists will not even read the resolution at all, let alone abide by it. It is unfortunate that the Council continues to ignore, not condemn, or even mention the massacre that Hamas carried out on October 7, which led to the war in Gaza. It is truly shameful!”

“Hamas's strategy is to deliberately deteriorate the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and increase the number of Palestinian casualties in order to motivate the UN and the Security Council to stop Israel. It will not happen. Israel will continue to act until Hamas is destroyed and the hostages are returned,” added Erdan.

The Foreign Ministry said in response, “Israel calls on the Security Council and the international community to insist on the release of all Israeli hostages quickly as the resolution stipulates.”

“Israel expects the Security Council to condemn Hamas unequivocally and address the need to create a different security reality in Gaza. There is no room for prolonged humanitarian truces as long as 239 hostages are in the hands of Hamas terrorists,” it added.

Wednesday’s vote marks the first time since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas that the Security Council has been able to pass a resolution on the conflict.

In late October, Russia and China vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution on the war between Israel and Hamas.

The draft condemned the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, supports Israel’s right to defend itself, and calls for the unconditional release of hostages from Gaza.

Days earlier, a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution, that would have called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the war in Gaza, failed to pass after it did not achieve the minimum nine votes needed in the 15-member body.

The text was controversial because, while it referred to Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, it did not directly name Hamas, whose terrorists murdered at least 1,400 people in Israel on October 7.

The UN General Assembly recently approved a resolution urging an "immediate, lasting and sustainable humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip, but resolutions passed by the General Assembly are not binding.