Associated Press
November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli aircraft attacked two suspected weapons-making factories and a smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip early Sunday in what the military said was retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel.

The airstrikes wounded at least seven people, including one seriously, and came despite an announcement by Gaza's Hamas rulers that the territory's military factions had agreed to stop firing rockets. The Hamas announcement came late Saturday, after the rocket attack.

Hamas's interior minister, Fathi Hamad, said the proclaimed halt in rocket fire was designed to prevent Israeli retaliation and provide stability for Gaza, which continues to suffer from the aftermath of an Israeli military offensive in December and January.

The offensive killed about 1,400 Palestinians, according to U.N. and Palestinian estimates, and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes. Thirteen Israelis also were killed. Most of the damage in Gaza has not been repaired because of an Israeli blockade that has prevented construction materials from entering the territory.


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