JERUSALEM -- On the second day of a Mideast tour, U.S. President Barack Obama is set to emphasize the importance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, a message underscored when militants in Gaza launched rockets into southern Israel.
After visiting Israel's national museum, Obama heads Thursday to the West Bank, where he will tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority.
He is not bringing a new plan to relaunch peace talks. But in meetings with the Palestinians and a speech to Israeli students later in the day, he will appeal to both sides to halt unilateral actions that make negotiations more difficult.
As Obama began his day, Israeli police said Gaza militants fired two rockets at the southern town of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries.
By MATTHEW LEE
The Associated Press