U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting Palestinian officials on the second day of his Mideast tour to emphasize the importance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, a message underscored Thursday when Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets into southern Israel.
After a visit to Israel's national museum - where he inspected the Dead Sea Scrolls, which highlight the Jewish people's ancient connection to the land that is now Israel - Obama headed to the West Bank to tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority for his administration. ...
One of the rockets exploded in the courtyard of a house in Sderot early in the morning, causing damage but no injuries, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The other landed in an open field. Sirens wailed in Sderot shortly after the 7 a.m. rocket attack, forcing residents on their way to work or school to run to bomb shelters.
On Wednesday, Obama reaffirmed the unwavering U.S. commitment to Israel's security and noted there had been no fatal attacks on Israelis from the West Bank, which is controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
That calm has not extended to Gaza, which is run by the militant Islamic Hamas movement. As Obama began his program Thursday, Israeli police said militants in Gaza had fired two rockets at the southern town of Sderot.