David Cameron has offered the UK’s support to Israel in response to “appalling” attacks carried out by Hamas.

The Prime Minister spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, who has warned that Hamas will pay a “heavy price” for the rocket attacks.

The Israeli army has intensified its offensive on the Gaza Strip in an effort to hit Hamas targets, but militants continued to fire rocket salvos at Israeli cities.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to prime minister Netanyahu earlier this evening about the situation in Israel.

“The Prime Minister strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s staunch support for Israel in the face of such attacks, and underlined Israel’s right to defend itself from them.”

Since the offensive began yesterday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza, killing more than 40 people.