Den italienske avisen Corriere della Sera har snakket med en lege på al-Shifa-sykehuset som hevder at dødstallene etter Israels krig er sterkt overdrevne. Han sier det samlede tallet på døde ligger i størrelsesorden 500-600, dvs. under halvparten av de offisielle tallene.

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Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported Thursday that a doctor working in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital claimed that Hamas has intentionally inflated the number of casualties resulting from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.
«The number of deceased stands at no more than 500 to 600. Most of them are youths between the ages of 17 to 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter,» according to the newspaper article.

The doctor wished to remain unidentified, out of fear for his life.

Men den israelske hæren, IDF, fastholder sitt anslag på ca. 1100 drepte, hvorav 2/3 hevdes å ha tilhørt Hamas.

Journalister på Gaza-stripen sier også at de virkelige tallene på drepte vil komme for en dag, og at vi står foran en gjentakelse av Jenin våren 2002. Da ble det også påstått av det var skjedd en massakre med rundt 1.500 drepte, mens det virkelige tallet var en brøkdel.

Despite the claims, the IDF stood behind its estimate that between 1,100 to 1,200 people were killed in the Strip during the fighting, more than two-thirds of them Hamas members.

The army initially believed that the number of civilian casualties was higher, as many Hamas men walked outside their houses dressed in civilian clothes, leaving their weapons at home.

Den italienske reporteren har snakket med palestinere som forteller at de unge Hamas-guttene ikke hadde en sjanse mot israelerne, men at de fremprovoserte beskytning av sivile hus.

A Tal al-Hawa resident told the newspaper’s reporter, «Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, aged 16 or 17, and armed. They couldn’t do a thing against a tank or a jet. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes.»

The reporter for the Italian newspaper also quoted reporters in the Strip who told of Hamas’ exaggerated figures, «We have already said to Hamas commanders – why do you insist on inflating the number of victims?»

These same reporters mentioned that the truth that will come out is likely to be similar to what occurred in Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin. «Then, there was first talk of 1,500 deaths. But then it turned out that there were only 54, 45 of which were armed men,» the Palestinian reporters told the Italian newspaper.

These new figures must be treated with caution especially in light of the fact that various official sources in the Gaza Strip, including United Nations and Red Cross officials, have reported that more than 1,300 people were killed and some 5,000 wounded during the three weeks of fighting in the coastal strip. Palestinian sources claim that three-quarters of the dead were unarmed civilians.

Gazan doctor says death toll inflated