During President Obama's visit to Israel, two rockets slammed into the Israel-Gaza border town of Sderot. A police spokesperson said one of the qassam rockets landed in the yard of a home in the city, and it is suspected that the other one landed in an open field. No one was injured. Obama was in Jerusalem at the time preparing to visit the Israel Museum. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Thursday, the President will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and deliver a speech to Israeli students. During the speech he will appeal to both sides to halt unilateral actions that make negotiations more difficult. He is not trying to re-launch peace talks between the two countries, according to Fox News.
Sderot is frequently targeted by rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip. Obama knows this because he visited the city as a presidential candidate in 2008. Gaza militants have fired thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Israel over the past decade. With the help of the U.S., Israel has come up with the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has intercepted hundreds of rockets.
One of the Palestinian Authority President’s aides, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, said before Thursday's meeting that the Palestinians will tell Obama they won't return to negotiations with Israel without a settlement freeze. "There can be no real (peace) process with the continuation of settlement activities on our lands," he said.
Prior to Obama’s visit, Palestinians demonstrators defaced and destroyed posters of the President in an expression of dissatisfaction with U.S. policy in the region.