UN rights chief warns of possible war crimes

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UN rights chief warns of possible war crimes
A Palestinian woman cries after a neighboring building to her family home was targeted in an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 12, 2014. Israel vowed no let-up in its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/07/12: Palestinian girl crying during the funeral of her brother who was killed during the raid of the Israeli Air Force in central Gaza City in the sixth day of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health 128 died, about 1,200 wounded, and demolition of more than 500 houses. (Photo by Ahmed Hjazy/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Palestinian mourners cry in a house after the bodies of Mousa Abu Muamer, 56, and his son Saddam, 27, who were killed in an overnight Israeli missile strike at their house in the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, were brought in during their funeral procession, Monday, July 14, 2014. Saddam's wife Hanadi, 27, was also killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Relatives weep as they hold the body of Sarah Omar el-Eid, 4, as the bodies of her father, Omar, 26, and her uncle, Jihad, 27, are brought into a house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during their funeral, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The three were killed by an Israeli strike late Monday. Egypt presented a cease-fire plan Monday to end a week of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that has left at least 185 people dead, and both sides said they were seriously considering the proposal. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 16: People mourn for their relatives who died on Israel's airstrikes in Gaza city, Gaza on 16 July, 2014. (Photo by Mohammed Asad/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Palestinian mourners cry during the funeral of four-year-old Palestinian girl Sarah Sheik al-Eid and of her father and uncle, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 15, 2014 after they were killed in an Israeli military strike the previous day. Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, resuming raids after a truce that failed to get off the ground, AFP correspondents and eyewitnesses said. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Palestinians flee their home in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 A.M. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 15: A woman cries and holds a photo of Palestinian child who died in Israeli attacks on Gaza in Tehran, Iran, on July 15, 2014. A group of people gather to protest Israeli attacks to Gaza outside United Nations building in capital Tehran. (Photo by Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/07/12: Palestinian girl crying during the funeral of her brother who was killed during the raid of the Israeli Air Force in central Gaza City in the sixth day of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health 128 died, about 1,200 wounded, and demolition of more than 500 houses. (Photo by Ahmed Hjazy/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BEIT LAHIA, GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/07/11: The father of Saher Abu Namous, 4 years old, cries in front oh the grave of his son. Saher Abu Namous was killed by an Israeli helicopter targeting his neighborhood house. Funeral of Saher Abu Namous, 4 years old, held in Beit Lahia, Gaza Strip. The child was killed by an Israeli helicopter targeting his neighborhood house. (Photo by Marco Bottelli/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/07/12: Palestinian girl crying during the funeral of her brother who was killed in targeted from the Israeli Air Force in central Gaza City during the sixth day of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health 128 died, about 1,200 wounded, and demolition of more than 500 houses. (Photo by Ahmed Hjazy/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 12: A relative of Palestinian Mahmoud Al-Suveyti killed in an Israeli air attack, cries during the funeral ceremony in Gaza City, Gaza on July 12, 2014. (Photo by Yasser Qudih/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Palestinian mourners cry during the funeral of four-year-old Palestinian girl Sarah Sheik al-Eid and of her father and uncle, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 15, 2014 after they were killed in an Israeli military strike the previous day. Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, resuming raids after a truce that failed to get off the ground, AFP correspondents and eyewitnesses said. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian mourners cry during the funeral of four-year-old Palestinian girl Sarah Sheik al-Eid and of her father and uncle, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 15, 2014 after they were killed in an Israeli military strike the previous day. Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, resuming raids after a truce that failed to get off the ground, AFP correspondents and eyewitnesses said. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian Zahra Sheikh el-Eid cries as she waits for the bodies of her daughter Sarah Omar el-Eid, 4, her husband Omar, 26, and her brother-in-law Jihad, 27, to be brought in a house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during their funeral, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The three were killed by an Israeli strike late Monday. An Egyptian truce proposal for the conflict in Gaza quickly unraveled Tuesday, after the Islamic militant group Hamas rejected the plan. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinian relatives cry during a funeral of Ibrahim Abu Nasr, 61, and his daughter Amira, 19, in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. The father and his daughter were killed in an Israeli air strike yesterday, Palestinian health officials said. (AP Photo/Hatem Omar)
A Palestinian mourner cries at a mosque as he sits next to the bodies of Mousa Abu Muamer, 56, and his son Saddam, 27, who were killed in an overnight Israeli missile strike at their house in the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 14, 2014. Saddam's wife, Hanadi, 27, was also killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Relatives weep as they hold the body of Sarah Omar el-Eid, 4, as the bodies of her father, Omar, 26, and her uncle, Jihad, 27, are brought into a house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during their funeral, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The three were killed by an Israeli strike late Monday. Egypt presented a cease-fire plan Monday to end a week of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that has left at least 185 people dead, and both sides said they were seriously considering the proposal. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N.'s top human rights official has warned all sides in the two-week war in the Gaza Strip to not indiscriminately attack civilians, and that violations may amount to war crimes.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday around three-quarters of those killed in the Gaza Strip were civilians and thousands more have been injured.

At least 657 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed during the conflict. Among the Palestinian dead, Pillay said there were at least 147 children and 74 women.

Pillay noted an Israeli drone missile strike in Gaza City that killed three children and wounded two others while they were playing on the roof of their home. She also referenced an Israeli strike and naval shelling that struck seven children playing on Gaza beach, killing four from the same family.

"These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," Pillay told the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council.

Israel launched its operation in Gaza on July 8 in response to heavy rocket fire out of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The fighting escalated last week with an Israeli ground offensive.

Pillay also warned that Hamas and others were violating international law.

"Israeli children, and their parents and other civilians, also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from Gaza may land on their houses or their schools, killing or injuring them," Pillay said.

"Once again, the principles of distinction and precaution are clearly not being observed during such indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups," she added.

Pillay said not abiding by those principles could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

At the session, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki accused Israel of committing a crime against humanity and violating international human rights law. Israeli Ambassador Eviatar Manor accused Hamas of committing war crimes.

'Strong Possibility' War Crimes Being Committed In Gaza
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