Biden condemns new E. Jerusalem settlements

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WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden is condemning Israel’s approval of 1,600 new settlement homes in disputed East Jerusalem and says the timing undermines the peace process the United States is attempting to revive.

Biden, visiting the region on Tuesday, said timing of the announcement is “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.” Biden says Israelis and Palestinians must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them.

Moments earlier, President Barack Obama’s top spokesman, Robert Gibbs, condemned the announcement from the White House. Relations between Israel and the Obama administration have been chilly precisely because of the settlement issue.

Full story: The Associated Press: Biden condemns new E. Jerusalem settlements