Eyewitnesses told Ynet that the incident began after a Palestinian cell approached the fence, apparently in an attempt to infiltrate the Israeli territory. The IDF force fired at the gunmen, who fired back at the soldiers. There were no reports of injuries among the troops.
Sources in the Strip estimated that the cell was affiliated with the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing.
Israel Air Force jets attacked three tunnels in the Gaza Strip in a joint Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet operation on Thursday night, several hours after a Qassam rocket hit the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.
Two of the targets attacked were in the southern Strip and one was in the northern Strip. According to the IDF, terrorists were using the tunnels to try to infiltrate Israel.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office said the tunnels were located about 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from the border fence and that the targets were hit. There have been no reports of injuries among the Palestinians.
Thursday evening's rocket violated the relative calm in the Gaza vicinity, after 10 days without any Qassams fired from the Strip towards Israel.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report