The three-hour daily pause to be observed by Israel in strikes on Gaza is "totally insufficient" for UN to aid the civilians living in "increasingly appalling" conditions amid mounting casualties, senior UN officials have warned. They also said that an outline of a way out of the crisis, which started on December 27 with Israeli air strikes against Gaza, was emerging with moves in the Security Council, ceasefire plans proposed by Egypt and France, and continuing diplomatic efforts by Secretary-General Ban ki-moon. "This [the pause] is potentially a positive step but because we did not have enough warning and because of lack of clarity about what this was going to mean, it was very hard for us to make significant use of it," UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told newsmen. "I hope we will be able to use such pauses more in the future if it's clear that they're going to be at a fixed time, if it's clear they're going to be respected and Gaza-wide. "(But) three hours a day is simply totally insufficient for us to be able to do that (get food and supplies to all who need it)," he said. The toll in the Israeli strikes have mounted to 680 killed and and over 3,000 wounded in Gaza. Holmes said the single biggest problem at the moment, apart from getting goods in was moving around Gaza both for UN relief workers and the population. "The Red Cross has said and they're not prone to exaggeration that people are dying because ambulances cannot get to them in time, people cannot get to hospitals," he said. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry also called the lull a good step but not nearly enough.