McCain backs Israel's right to self defence in Gaza conflict
( dpa )- Senator John McCain, the Republican Party's likely presidential nominee, Monday defended Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.
In remarks broadcast from the campaign trail, McCain said the US "obviously" wants a ceasefire.
But in the case of "attacks on Israel that continue from Gaza ... I believe that any nation has the right to respond to attacks."
On Saturday, amidst a mounting death toll in Gaza from Israeli air and ground attacks, the Palestinian leadership called off peace talks with Israel while the United Nations Security Council met in emergency session.
The death toll from the Israeli attacks since Wednesday reached 113, including at least 17 children, UN and Palestinian officials have said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday the rockets being fired by Hamas militants out of Gaza are no longer home-made Qassam missiles but rather advanced Katyusha-like design apparently smuggled into Gaza when the border with Egypt was breached in January at Rafah.
In an emergency session late Saturday night in New York, the Security Council and Ban condemned the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel.
The council called on all sides to respect their obligations under international law and to immediately cease all acts of violence.
McCain criticized the Security Council for its "failure to condemn the attacks by Gaza into Israel."