Thursday, January 22, 2009


Reported in the Jerusalem Post:

On Thursday, Cremonesi published an article in the Italian paper Corriere della Sera, in which he claimed that the Palestinians had distorted their claims, much like in past incidents.

He quoted a doctor at Gaza City's main Shifa Hospital who said no more than 500 or 600 could have been killed in the IDF attacks, and that most were men between 17 and 23 recruited to Hamas's ranks.

Cremonesi, who based his report on tours of hospitals in the Gaza Strip and on interviews with families of casualties, also assessed the number of wounded to be far lower than 5,300, the number quoted by Hamas and repeated by the UN and the Red Cross in Gaza.

"It is sufficient to visit several hospitals [in Gaza] to understand that the numbers don't add up," he wrote.

In the European Hospital in Gazan Rafah, one of the facilities that would presumably be filled with wounded from the "war of the tunnels," many beds were empty, according to Cremonesi.

A similar situation was noted in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, and in the privately-run Amal Hospital, where Cremonesi reported that only five out 150 beds were occupied.

He noted that in past instances, such as in Jenin during Israel's Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, there was initially talk of 1,500 dead, which ended up being whittled down to 54, of whom 45 were gunmen.

Cremonesi's report on the Gaza dead was ridiculed by Jaber Wishah, the deputy director of the PCHR, during a telephone interview from Gaza on Thursday with The Jerusalem Post.

"It is completely incorrect," Wishah said. His organization had 45 field workers posted at hospitals and morgues, counting bodies and checking names, he said. They had also gone to the sites of IDF attacks and interviewed the families of the dead, he said.

A lengthy but incomplete report on the group's Web site lists names, ages, and circumstances of death.

In total, Wishah said, his organization - which is independent of both Hamas and Fatah - counted 1,285 dead. Of those, 82 percent, or 1,062, were civilians, he said, while another 168 were policemen who were not engaged in the fighting. That would leave barely 50 Hamas dead - a figure almost identical to Hamas's own claims. He added that among the dead were 280 children and 111 women.


At 10:55 AM EST, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, that doesn't worry Hamas - their chief propagandist Abu Marzouk (sp?) already tells about 2000 children killed...


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