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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday March 21st, 2013.

President Abbas meet US President Obama in Ramallah and residents protest the visit. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.

In his second day in Israel and Palestine the US president Barak Obama visited on Thursday the central West Bank city of Ramallah and met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbass.

Obama and Abbass had a closed meeting for around two hours before the two leaders had a press conference.

During the press conference President Obama admitted that the Israeli settlements are a major obstacle to the peace process but added that no demands should be set forth before talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

From his part president Abbas said that his demands that Israeli settlement construction should freeze before the resumption of the peace process is an international demand and not just a Palestinian demand.

President Obama went back to Israeli shortly after the press conference and will be visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem city southern West Bank on Friday.

Outside of the presidential compound in Ramallah city, hundreds gathered in Ramallah city center protesting Obama visit.

Protesters carried signs demanding an independent Palestinian state free of Israeli illegal settlements. Protesters also demanded the release of political prisoners held by Israel.

Earlier on Thursday Israeli sources reported that two rocket shells were fired from Gaza and hit Israeli areas near the costal enclave.

One of the shells landed near the backyard of a house casing damage but no injuries while the other one landed in open land casing neither damage nor injuries.

And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Thursday March 21st, news round-up from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at Today’s report has been brought to you by Hussam Qassis and me, Ghassan Bannoura.