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GENEVA - The United Nations' senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes. Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. "They appear to be defying... deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel," Pillay told a news briefing. "We cannot allow impunity."

Hamas militants in Gaza have also violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel, sometimes from densely-populated areas, Pillay said. She also criticized the United States, Israel's main ally, for failing to use its influence to halt the carnage. Pillay said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel at the U.N. "They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they've also provided almost $1 billion in providing the 'Iron Domes' to protect the Israels from rocket attacks," she said. "No such protection has been provided to Gazans."


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- Reuters