Barack Obama, the US Democratic presidential candidate, has said he backs Israel's decision not to negotiate with the Palestinian group Hamas.
Speaking in the Israeli town of Sderot, which has been hit by rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza, Obama said the US also supported Israel's right to defend itself "against those who threaten its people".
He also reiterated his position that Jerusalem "will be" the capital of Israel.
However the Illinois senator, currently on the final leg of his Middle East tour, said that he believed the city to be a "final status issue" that must be decided by negotiation and said he remained committed to a two-state solution to the conflict.
The status of Jerusalem remains one of the most contentious parts of any solution to the Middle East conflict.
In June Obama caused anger in the Arab world when he said that Jerusalem should be
|Liveleak on Facebook|