Number of Gazans dead is questioned


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli officials denied a report in an Italian newspaper that said the number of Gazans killed in the military operation was not more than 500 to 600.

The Israel Defense Forces is sticking to its original estimates that about 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the three-week Operation Cast Lead, and that at least two-thirds were terrorists. At least 500 are said to be members of Hamas’ military wing, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The report in Corriere della sera claimed that the number of wounded was also far below the 5,000 that Hamas claims.

Most Hamas gunmen were dressed as civilians, which has contributed to the high estimate of civilian casualties by international organizations.

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