ESCALATION

Israel Strikes Gaza

Israeli aircraft attacked two suspected weapons-making factories in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, wounding at least seven people, despite a recent informal promise of a ceasefire from Gaza. Gaza's Hamas rulers had recently agreed to stop firing rockets, which Hamas's interior minister said was designed to prevent Israeli retaliation. Israel's offensive in December and January killed 1,400 Palestinians, according to U.N. estimates. Thirteen Israelis were killed. The offensive was meant to crush rocket squads that had disturbed Southern Israel for years. “We will defend ourselves with all means possible and we will counter any new offensives,” said a spokesman for Hamas, after the Israeli strikes.