Hamas slams Israel offensive as ‘military madness’

GAZA CITY, June 28, 2006 (AFP) – The Hamas-led government on Wednesday denounced an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip as unjustified "military madness" and warned that the operation would have heady consequences.

"This Israeli military escalation is unjustified. Waging such military madness on a grand scale will have big consequences," government spokesman Ghazi Hamad was quoted as saying by the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.

"Israel will get no gain from this operation because for the moment she hasn’t managed to find what she’s looking for," he added.

"Contacts are continuing with Arab and international parties to solve this problem calmly and avoid a military escalation," WAFA quoted him as saying.

AFP on Wednesday tried repeatedly to contact spokesmen for the Hamas-led government and Palestinian leadership but officials turned off their phones.

WAFA quoted Hamad as accusing Israel of wanting to "disseminate chaos and provoke a new bloody conflict" that would cause "crimes and victims, particularly among civilians," for which the Jewish state would be responsible.