After hundreds of Palestinians were injured by the Israeli police Gaza had threatened to strike Isreal.
Though Israel’s parliament was evacuated as sirens sounded, no injuries were reported. Deaths were later reported in Israeli strikes against the people of Palestine.
Israel said it had killed three Hamas militants. “We have started, and I repeat started, to attack military targets in Gaza,” Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
Gaza sources told the BBC a commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Abdullah Fayyad, had been killed.
The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said nine people – including many children – had died in the Israeli strikes.
The past few days have seen the worst violence in Jerusalem for years, with more than 300 Palestinians wounded in confrontations with Israeli police outside the al-Aqsa mosque on Monday.
A planned march by Israeli nationalists which was due to pass through Muslim areas of East Jerusalem’s Old City was called off over fears it could stoke unrest.
The Jerusalem Day event marks Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 and usually sees hundreds of flag-waving Jewish youth make walk through the Muslim Quarter via Damascus Gate, chanting and singing in kind of provocating the Palestinian youths.
It is regarded by many Palestinians as a deliberate provocation.
This year’s march would also have taken place in the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The latest violence follows days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem, with the possible eviction of Palestinian families from their homes thereby Jewish settlers a focal point for Palestinian anger.