Israel continues airstrikes on Gaza

Israel is continuing airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims the country has the backing of the United States.

The Israeli military carried out dozens of airstrikes on Gaza early on Monday morning.

Netanyahu told reporters on Sunday that his country has US support, and that it would continue attacks to restore peace and security to Israelis.

The violence between Israeli forces and the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, which effectively controls the Gaza Strip, has continued since last Monday.

Israel insists that its airstrikes on Hamas positions are made after advance warnings to avoid causing civilian casualties. But the targets included a Palestinian refugee camp.

In Gaza, 197 people, including 58 children, have reportedly been killed. In Israel, nine people, including a child, have been confirmed dead.

The US government has sent a senior State Department official to the region, and the official reportedly held telephone talks with officials of surrounding nations such as Egypt and Qatar.

The UN Security Council has so far failed to take a concerted response. Many of its members are pointing out the large number of casualties on the Palestinian side, while the US supports Israel's right to defend itself.