Gaza Strip Militants Fire Qassam Rocket Into Western Negev

IAF destroys booby-trapped Gaza building near Israel border in first air strike in over a month.

Palestinian militants in the central Gaza Strip fired a Qassam rocket into the western Negev early Friday. The rocket hit an open area in the Eshkol regional council.

The attack comes a day after the Israel Air Force destroyed a booby-trapped building near the Gaza Strip border fence in response to a rocket attack from Gaza on Wednesday night.

The Israel Defense Forces have evidence that the house had been serving terrorist groups in the Strip for attacks and kidnapping efforts directed at IDF border patrols.

The structure, which contained hundreds of kilograms of explosives, was blown up in an IAF missile assault from a helicopter gunship, the first Israeli attack on Gaza in about three weeks.

The building was located near the Kissufim crossing point.

The air force assault followed the launch of a Qassam rocket directed at the Eshkol regional council district. The rocket, which did not cause injuries, was the first fired into Israel in about two weeks.

The air force operation was carried out as IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and American Middle East envoy George Mitchell were meeting in Tel Aviv. At the meeting, the chief of staff described the progress of Iran's nuclear program, the situation on the northern border opposite Hezbollah and cooperation in the West Bank with the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting was at the urging of the United States in an effort to get feedback from someone who was seen as independent of the new Netanyahu government.