White House Blasts Building of New East Jerusalem Settlements

WASHINGTON -- The White House says the United States condemns Israel's approval of 1,600 new settlement homes in disputed East Jerusalem.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday that Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Israel, would issue a detailed statement shortly. Gibbs says President Obama's position on the settlements is known by both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Israel's Interior Ministry approved the construction of 1,600 new homes for Jews in disputed east Jerusalem on Tuesday. Relations between Israel and the Obama administration have been chilly precisely because of the settlement issue.