Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets toward the Jerusalem area and southern Israel, carrying out a threat to punish Israel for violent confrontations with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
The Gaza health ministry said nine Palestinians, including three children, were killed "in a series of strikes in northern Gaza." It did not explicitly blame Israel for the deaths, in an area that has been a staging ground for militants' cross-border rocket attacks.
Rocket sirens sounded in Jerusalem, in nearby towns and in communities near Gaza minutes after the expiry of an ultimatum from the enclave's ruling Hamas Islamist group demanding Israel stand down forces in the al Aqsa mosque compound and another flashpoint in the holy city.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said that on Monday, at least six of the 45 rockets fired from Gaza were launched towards Jerusalem's outskirts, where a house was hit. No casualties were reported.
He said Israel had carried out an air strike in northern Gaza against Hamas militants and was looking into reports that children were killed.