Texas Gov. Rick Perry slammed the Obama administration Sunday for creating doubts about the U.S. commitment to Israel, as the Middle East ally remains locked in a bloody conflict with Hamas.

“The idea ... that there’s any air between us and Israel is beyond me,” Perry said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t understand why this administration would criticize Israel for trying to protect their citizens and their country from a group who have clearly stated that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the earth.”

Perry jumped on criticisms made by Israeli officials against Secretary of State John Kerry for his attempts to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The Associated Press also reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Obama administration officials “not to ever second-guess me again” in the wake of another ceasefire collapsing.

President Obama has expressed growing concerns about the number of Palestinian civilians killed in the Gaza standoff but has insisted that Israel has the right to defend itself.

For his part, Perry said Obama was sending mixed signals to Israel.

“I think there have been messages sent, both publicly and privately, that have not been strong in their support of Israel,” Perry told CNN. “If you look back at the rhetoric and what they’ve done, I don’t think they have been as strong with Israel as they should be."