McCain questioned how much the influence Obama administration has over the Israeli government, saying the president made a mistake by insisting that Israel agree to cease the expansion of settlements in 2009.

McCain also praised Israel’s “Iron Dome” air defense system, a program largely funded by the U.S. government, calling it a “worthwhile U.S. investment.” McCain said that without the defense system to shoot down rockets, Israel would have already invaded Gaza with ground troops by this point.

Israeli media reports said that the system had intercepted a Hamas long-range rocket bound for Tel Aviv on Sunday.