‘Gaza rockets’ hit southern Israel during Obama visit
Two rockets fired by militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Thursday hit southern Israel as US President Barack Obama was visiting the country, police said.
“One exploded in the back yard of a house in Sderot, causing damage and the second landed in a field,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, referring to a town very close to the Gaza border, which was visited by Obama on a previous trip in 2008 when he was a senator.
Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday for his first visit since being elected president and was expected to travel to Ramallah on Thursday morning for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
It was only the second such rocket attack since the end of a deadly eight-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas militants in November which ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce that has been almost completely respected.
On February 26, militants fired a single rocket which landed near the southern coastal town of Ashkelon in an attack they said was to protest the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody following interrogation.
During the eight days of bloodshed in November, which cost the lives of 177 Palestinians and six Israelis, the army said 933 rockets hit Israel, while another 421 were intercepted in mid-air by the US-funded Iron Dome air anti-missile system.
Obama visited the vaunted Iron Dome system shortly after arriving in the country on Wednesday afternoon.