The United Nations has passed a resolution calling for international protection for civilians living in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 to eight, with 45 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly.

It deplored the use of indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists.

The resolution also calls on all sides to respect international law and condemns all acts of violence against civilians.

The General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, but did not mention the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza.

The General Assembly asked UN Secretary Genereal Antonio Guterres to recommend an "international protection mechanism" for occupied Palestinian territory.

The United States failed in a bid to amend the resolution with a paragraph that would have condemned violence by Hamas.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza border protests since March 30. The largest number of deaths occurred on 14 May, the day the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Amid international condemnation of its use of lethal force, Israel said many of the dead were militants and that the Israeli army was repelling attacks on the border fence between Israel and Gaza.

Washington has maintained Israel's right to defend itself and refrained from joining calls for Israeli restraint.

Palestinians and their supporters said most protesters were unarmed civilians and Israel used excessive force against them.

"We need protection of our civilian population," Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told the General Assembly before the vote, adding that the resolution was "intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation."

"We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people," Mr Mansour said.

The resolution asked Mr Guterres to report back within 60 days on proposals "on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including ... recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism."