UN human rights office says Israeli forces, Palestinian armed groups may have committed war crimes

GENEVA — The UN Human Rights Office is citing possible war crimes by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in connection with a deadly attack by Israeli forces that freed four hostages last weekend.

Spokesman Jeremy Laurence expressed concern about possible violations of the rules of proportionality, distinction and precaution by the Israeli forces during Saturday’s raid on the Nuseirat urban refugee camp.

According to Palestinian health officials, there were at least 274 Palestinians, including dozens of women and children killed during the operation.

Laurence said Palestinian armed groups holding hostages in densely populated areas expose the lives of nearby civilians and the hostages to “additional risks” as a result of the hostilities.