The top UN human rights official says Israel's military response to the firing of rockets at its territory by Palestinian terrorists is "disproportionate."
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says she is distressed at the enormous loss of life in Gaza and calls on Israel to prevent collective punishment and the targeting of civilians.
Some 280 Palestinians died in the first 24 hours of the campaign against Gaza rocket squads - most of them Hamas police. One Israeli civilian was killed by a militant rocket.
Pillay said in a statement Sunday that both sides should halt the violence and promptly take steps to end human suffering in Gaza by allowing aid supplies and independent monitors to enter the Palestinian territory.