Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today (Novemeber 10, 2010) criticized Israel's latest building plans in East Jerusalem -- an issue that has divided the two governments and imperiled efforts to revive Middle East peace talks -- the Huffington Post website reports.
Clinton called the construction of 1,300 apartments "counterproductive" and an obstacle to restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.
"The United States was deeply disappointed by the announcement of advance planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of east Jerusalem," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.
Her remarks come one day before she was scheduled to meet in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier rejected President Barack Obama's criticism of the construction project.
Netanyahu's inflexible and self-centered decision to build housing units in east Jerusalem is seen by many diplomats as an obstruction to peace in the Middle East. Moreover, it has resulted in U.S.-Israeli relations being at their worst state since Israel became a nation in 1948.