According to the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to complain about the announcement to expand a settlement in East Jerusalem.
Spokesman P.J. Crowley says Clinton warned that the move was “deeply negative” and undermined trust in the peace process. She also reportedly expressed confusion “in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.”
Israel’s announcement of the 1,600 new settlement units effectively ended the indirect peace talks before they had begun. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has ruled out back-tracking on the settlements, and insisted this was the last time Israel would ever make a concession for the peace process. Ayalon added that the only US objection was the timing of the announcement.
Which seems to have been at least partially confirmed by Secretary Clinton, who in an interview with CNN today said “the announcement of the settlement the very same day the vice president was there was insulting.” Though Clinton issued a blanket condemnation of the settlement plan, the timing appears to have been the only thing she specifically mentioned.