President Obama arrived on Thursday in the West Bank for talks with the head of the Palestinian Authority, but attention quickly turned to rockets fired by Gaza-based Palestinian militants into southern Israel.
The incident caused no injuries but underscored Palestinian frustration with Obama, whom they see as uninterested in promoting a two-state solution, the Washington Post reported.
Speaking in Ramallah, Obama told President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad that the United States remained committed to creating a Palestinian state.
He also said at a news conference with Abbas that he has told Israel’s leader that the U.S. views Israeli settlement activity as neither constructive nor appropriate, the Post said.
However, Abbas also said he does not think Palestinians should make a halt in such Israeli activity a condition for peace talks.
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Obama is set to return to Jerusalem later Thursday to give a speech that the White House is advertising as the highlight of the President’s trip, codenamed “Unbreakable Alliance.”
The Ramallah visit followed an unexpectedly close display of union between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who have not always had the most cordial of relations.