President Obama met with Palestinian officials on the second day of his Mideast tour to emphasize the importance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, a message underscored Thursday when Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets into southern Israel.

After a visit to Israel's national museum — where he inspected the Dead Sea Scrolls, which highlight the Jewish people's ancient connection to the land that is now Israel — Mr. Obama headed to the West Bank to tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority for his administration.