UN rights chief calls for investigation of Gaza abuses

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Friday for an independent war crimes investigation in Gaza in light of reports that Israeli forces had shelled a house full of Palestinian civilians, killing 30 people. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Israeli troops evacuated Palestinian civilians to a house in the Zeitoun neighborhood on Jan. 4, then shelled the building 24 hours later. Navi Pillay told an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council that the harm to Israeli civilians caused by Hamas rockets was unacceptable, but did not excuse any abuses carried out by Israeli forces in response. Pillay went further in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., saying an incident in Gaza City this week "appears to have all the elements of war crimes."