Rockets hit Israel as Obama prepares to meet Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) - On the second day of a Mid-East tour, United States President Barack Obama is set to emphasise the importance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, a message underscored on Thursday when Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets into southern Israel.
On Wednesday, Mr Obama reaffirmed the US' unwavering 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 Mr Obama began his programme on Thursday, Israeli police said militants in Gaza fired two rockets at the southern town of Sderot.
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 7am rocket attack, forcing residents on their way to work or school to run to bomb shelters.