Palestine: Hamas acknowledges higher casualties in Gaza war

On Monday, a senior Hamas official acknowledged that up to three hundred fighters were killed in the 2008-2009 Gaza war after Hamas initially put the toll at forty-eight.

Fathi Hammad, Hamas interior minister told Al-Hayat, which is a London-based Arabic newspaper that between two hundred and three hundred Hamas fighters were killed during the twenty-two-day onset in addition to hundreds of civilians.

He told the paper, “They say the people suffered from this war, but is Hamas not part of the people? On the first day of the war Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs were killed, from Hamas and other factions”.

“In addition to them, between 200 and 300 fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s armed wing) and another 150 security forces were martyred.”

His numbers roughly match the 709 “terror operatives” that the military of Israel said it had killed during the fighting, which included members of the Hamas-run police force that has policed Gaza since 2007.

The military has said that the overall Palestinian death toll was 1,166.

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have said that approximately 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, who were mostly civilians. 13 Israelis were killed, including ten soldiers.

Fathi Hammad claimed that fifty Israelis had been killed during the war but said Israel had only publicized a small number of the deaths.