There's no doubt Israel's offensive against Hamas claimed a lot of lives in Gaza. But exactly how many died is unclear and the portion of civilian casualties is even more unsettled.
Israeli military officials are denying an Italian journalist's claim that no more than 600 people died in the three weeks of fighting. Lorenzo Cremonesi, a correspondent for Italy's Corriere Della Sera, reported that the death toll was inflated after visiting Gaza hospitals and interviewing local Palestinians.
The Israeli military and Palestinian medics each put the death toll at around 1,300 people, so that number seems to be fairly credible. However, Israeli Defense Forces say two-thirds of the dead were Hamas operatives and fighters or members of other terrorist organizations, often dressed in civilian clothing. They are compiling a list of the dead and claim it already contains the names of 750 Hamas members (if so, then a clear majority of the dead) while the Palestinians insist a majority of the dead were civilians.
Hamas claimed fewer than 50 of its people were killed. Those jumping blindly on high-end casualty counts should remember, similar claims have been exposed as wildly off base in the past.