Japan calls for temporary suspension of fighting in Gaza

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan has called on Israel to temporarily suspend fighting to allow humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip, its foreign ministry said.

The request was made in a meeting between Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Israel’s ambassador to Japan late on Wednesday to allow for humanitarian access to the enclave, according to a readout issued by the ministry on Thursday.

Russia and China on Wednesday vetoed a U.S. push for the United Nations Security Council to act on the Israel-Hamas conflict by calling for pauses in fighting which has claimed thousands of lives. A Russian-drafted text that called for a ceasefire also failed.

(Reporting by John GeddieEditing by Shri Navaratnam)