UN Calls for Gaza War Crimes Probe

Rights official accuses Israel of ignoring international law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2009 2:34 AM CST
A Palestinian boy drags a piece of concrete salvaged from a home that was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
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(Newser) – The UN's top human rights official has called for an investigation into possible war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Gaza, the Guardian reports. She singled out an incident this week where up to 30 Palestinian civilians were killed in a home shelled by Israeli forces and the surviving children were found starving days after rescue workers were first denied access.

The incident "appears to have all the elements of war crimes," the UN official said, accusing the IDF of failing to meet its obligations under international law. "In this particular case these children were helpless and the soldiers were close by," she said. The Israeli military denies accusations that it told civilians to shelter in the building before it was shelled.