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UN Watchdog Says Israel Committing War Crimes

UNITED NATIONS – In Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday that around three-quarters of the 668 Palestinians and 31 Israelis killed in the conflict were civilians, and thousands more have been injured.

Pillay told the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council that the situation in Gaza requires its urgent attention because of “a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

Pillay says every allegation of human rights abuses “must be properly and independently investigated.”

With Israeli continuing to attack targets in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel to press top-gear efforts for a truce. Kerry flew into Israel’s main airport despite a Federal Aviation Administration ban put in place a day earlier after a Hamas rocket landed nearby.

Israeli forces pounded the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, sending thousands of residents fleeing, and said it was meeting stiff resistance from Hamas forces.

The Palestinian decision-making body led by U.S.-backed prime minister Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday endorsed demands by Hamas for halting Gaza hostilities with Israel, a closing of ranks that may help Egyptian-mediated truce efforts.

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