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Sen. McCain calls for Bill Clinton to lead Israel-Palestinian talks

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested on Sunday that President Obama should send former President Bill Clinton to lead cease fire talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

"We need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker," McCain said on CBS's “Face the Nation”. He joked that Clinton would hate him for floating his name for the difficult task.

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Violence has escalated rapidly in recent days, after Israel launched air strikes in Gaza after a spike in rocket attacks from Hamas. 

Hamas has retaliated by launching rockets into Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has said they have not ruled out a ground war in Gaza to eliminate the threat from Hamas.

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.