A day after the first Qassam rocket attack in weeks, the IDF launched an airstrike in the Gaza Strip.
The attack was carried out in the early evening hours on Thursday, just as Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was meeting with George Mitchell, the United States' special envoy to the Middle East.
Palestinians reported a house had exploded in central Gaza. The army confirmed the report, saying that the Air Force had targeted a structure rigged with explosives near the border fence.
No injuries were reported, as the building was empty at the time of the airstrike. The structure itself sustained considerable damage.
Pilots confirmed a direct hit. The attack took place after intelligence information indicated that terrorists were using the structure, located near the Kissufim border crossing, as a base from which to carry out attacks.
Defense officials sought to emphasize that there are no restrictions barring the IDF from acting on information on planned attacks against soldiers or inside Israel.
Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi with US envoy Mitchell (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
The officials noted that despite the relative calm in southern Israel over the past few weeks, the Palestinian terror organizations are keen to carry out 'quality' attacks, and are working towards this end.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the IDF would respond to yesterday's attack on the Eshkol Regional Council. The rocket was the first in two weeks to land in Israel.
Earlier in the day Mitchell met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Later this evening he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report