IDF: 600 Hamas men, 309 civilians died in Gaza offensive
More than 600 of the Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza have been identified as militants, while another 309 were innocent civilians, according to an updated list of Palestinian losses issued by the Israel Defense Forces.
The list, prepared by the IDF's Coordination and Liaison Authority for the Gaza Strip, is significantly different from the one the Palestinians use.
The Israeli document lists 1,370 fatalities, whereas different Palestinian lists range from 1,324 to 1,434. The IDF claims to have identified 1,249 of those on its list.
According to the IDF, more than 600 of the dead have been identified as members of a militant organization. This includes the police officers who were killed in an attack on their academy's graduation parade on December 27, the first day of the operation.
A total of 309 are described as "uninvolved," meaning they have been confirmed as innocent civilians. Another 320 are described as "unaffiliated," which means the IDF has not yet determined whether they have any affiliation with a militant group. Finally, 14 fatalities were members of Fatah whom Hamas executed during the fighting.
Of the 309 innocent civilians killed, 189 were children under the age of 15. Palestinians describe anyone under 18 as a child.
This group also includes 91 women, 21 elderly men who were not involved in the fighting, six UNRWA workers and two medical workers.
Efforts to identify the remaining dead are continuing.
The fatality list presented by the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has numerous inaccuracies and contradictions, the IDF says. For example, Tawfiq Ja'abari, the commander of the Hamas police, and Mohammed Shakshak, a personal assistant to the head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed Ja'abari, are both described as dead children on the Palestinian list.