Two rockets fired by militants [terrorists – ed.] in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Thursday hit southern Israel as US President Barack Obama was visiting the Jewish state, police said.

Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday for the first visit of the US president since being elected more than four years ago, and was expected in Ramallah on Thursday for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Israeli officials pointed the finger at Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, over the rocket attack. The group implicitly denied responsibility, but gave a guarded reaction to Israeli accusations.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that “one (rocket) exploded in the back yard of a house in Sderot, causing damage, and the second landed in a field,” 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.