US president Barack Obama travelled to the West Bank on the second day of his Middle East tour to meet Palestinian leaders.

Obama flew by helicopter to Ramallah, where he held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and renewed US support for an "independent and sovereign Palestinian State".

However in Ramallah Obama received a cold welcome, as some 150 Palestinian demonstrators chanting anti-American slogans marched to the main government compound where the two leaders were meeting.

Protesters held up their shoes - considered a grave insult in Arab countries - and called for Obama to leave Palestine. A brief scuffle with security forces erupted.

Palestinians accuse Obama of siding with Israel in the construction of Jewish housing settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians.

"[Obama] should take immediate action to stop settlement activity because the passivity of his position toward settlements is happening while the very last option of a two-state solution is being killed by Israeli settlements," said Palestinian activist Mustafa Barghouti.

"There can be no real [peace] process with the continuation of settlement activities on our lands," added Yasser Abed-Rabbo, an aide to Abbas.

Speaking after talks with Abbas, Obama said the US government "does not consider the continuous settlement activity to be constructive or appropriate" for the peace process.

However he admitted that the settlement issue is "not going to be resolved overnight" and suggested that Palestinians should not make halting the settlements a condition to resuming peace negotiations with Israel.

He then called for both parties to compromise and "think new", setting aside old resentments and "push through some of the problems to get an agreement."

"People want to have 100 per cent of what they want instead of making needed compromise," Obama said. "Let's not use problems as an excuse not to do anything."

Obama's visit was also marked by the launch of two rockets form militants in Gaza into the southern town of Sderot, Israeli police said.

One rocket exploded near a house, causing some damage, while the other landed in an open field. No injuries were reported.

Obama is not going to visit Gaza, an area which has been ruled since 2007 by Hamas, listed by the US and the EU as a terrorist organisation.