Hamas confirmed for the first time on Monday that between 200 and 300 members of the organization's military wing were killed during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008, Israel Radio reported.
Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 in efforts to curb missile fire from the Palestinian territory into Israel's southern communities. Immediately following the operation, Hamas reported that less than 50 of its men had been killed.
Hamas' Interior Minister Fathi Hamad, who was confirmed the figures in an interview with the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Hayat, said that the so-called "police officers" who were killed during the first day of the operation were actually 250 Hamas fighters, and that 150 additional "security personnel" were also killed.
Israel Radio indicated that these figures were consistent with the numbers initially reported by the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson's Unit immediately following the operation, which Hamas denied.
So why is this important? Firstly, it shows Israel's strike on the 1st day of the War was legitimate. There was obviously an extremely accurate intelligence update that Israel couldnt' pass up on. Secondly, rewind to Richard Goldstone's UN report:
417. Except for the statements of the police spokesperson, the Israel Government has presented no other basis on which a presumption can be made against the overall civilian nature of the police in Gaza. It is true that the police and the security forces created by Hamas in Gaza may have their origins in the Executive Force. However, while the Mission would not rule out the possibility that there might be individuals in the police force who retain their links to the armed groups, it believes that the assertion on the part of the Government of Israel that “an overwhelming majority of the police forces were also members of the Hamas military wing or activists of Hamas or other terrorist organizations” appears to be an overstatement that has led to prejudicial presumptions against the nature of the police force that may not be justified.
I guess this is yet another reason why the Honorable Judge backed off the report, "If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven." Definitely Goldstoned.