US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Friday said Israel's behaviour during the visit of Vice President Joe Biden to the couintry was "insulting," raising the level of tension in an open diplomatic rift with Israel.
"The announcement of the settlement the very same day the vice president was there was insulting ... an unfortunate and difficult moment for everyone," Clinton said in an interview with CNN, dpa reported.
She was referring to the
Israeli government's announcement on Tuesday that it plans to build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem - the same day Biden arrived in Israel.
The move came just as
Washington had brokered indirect talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Clinton's remarks followed a stern conversation she had earlier Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where she expressed "strong objections" to the plans.