Israel says strikes Gaza rocket factory
JERUSALEM, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israel's army said on Wednesday it has struck a rocket factory in the Gaza Strip, amidst the second day of a fatal escalation between Israel and Gaza's Islamic Jihad group.
The Israeli military issued a statement, saying the Islamic Jihad used the site in the southern Gaza Strip as "a primary rocket warhead manufacturing facility" to produce rockets and unique raw materials for manufacturing long-range rockets.
According to the army, the group's rocket infrastructure is "a crucial component in strengthening its organizational capabilities."
At noon, the military said it was increasing the rate of its attacks in Gaza.
An Israeli aircraft struck the Islamic Jihad's Khan Yunis headquarters, a weapons storage site, and a militant of an Islamic Jihad rocket-launching unit who stored weapons in his home.
Additionally, an Israeli Navy vessel targeted an Islamic Jihad naval commando unit vessel, used for training for future maritime attacks, and a military compound used by the naval commando unit to train and store weapons, the army said.
The attacks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israel is prepared to continue striking Islamic Jihad as long as rocket fire continues. "We will continue to strike them with no mercy," he told a special meeting of his cabinet.
The rapid escalation started on Tuesday morning after predawn strikes on the home of Baha Abu al-Atta, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, which killed al-Atta and his wife in their bedroom.
At least 22 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, mostly Islamic Jihad militants, and 50 more were wounded, according to Gaza's health ministry figures.
Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza fired at least 250 rockets into Israel. No fatalities were reported but two persons were injured by shrapnel, according to the country's MDA medical emergency service.