HAMAS LIED ABOUT CASUALTIES IN GAZA
Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi, who works with the Corriere
della serra newspaper, reported Thursday that Hamas had vastly
overstated the number of civilian deaths in Gaza. While Hamas claims
that 1,330 residents of Gaza were killed in the operation and
approximately 5,000 wounded, the real number of casualties was far
lower, Cremonesi says.
Cremonesi's report was based on his own findings after touring
hospitals in Gaza and talking to families of those killed or
wounded. "It is sufficient to visit several [Gaza] hospitals to
understand that the numbers don't add up", he explained.
Cremonesi estimated that between 500 to 600 people were killed in the
fighting. Most were young men between the ages of 17 and 23 who were
members of Hamas, he said.
Many hospitals had several empty beds, he reported. Hamas has stated
that Gaza hospitals are filled to capacity due to the large number of
victims, with many of the wounded being turned away due to the
shortage of doctors and supplies.
The Italian report also confirmed Israeli allegations that Hamas had
used civilians as human shields and used ambulances and United
buildings in the fighting. Those who tried to drive the terrorists
away in order to protect their families were beaten.
Civilians told Cremonesi that they shouted at Hamas and Islamic Jihad
terrorists to leave the area to avoid drawing Israeli fire on
civilians. The terrorists responded by calling them
"traitors", "collaborators" and "cowards", and insisted that any
civilians killed would be martyrs destined for paradise.
Civilians also reported that Hamas terrorists disguised themselves as
paramedics and drove ambulances during the fighting. In addition,
terrorists launched rockets from UN buildings. Many of these actions
are defined as war crimes.
"The knew they were weaker, but they wanted them [the Israelis] to
fire on our houses, so they could accuse them of war crimes", a
resident of the Gazan village Tel Awa explained.