US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticised a decision by the Israeli authorities to approve the building of 1100 homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
She said the Israeli government's announcement it was approving the construction was counter productive to Washington's efforts to resume negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
She says both the Israelis and Palestinians need to avoid provocative acts.
"We have long urged both sides to avoid any kind of action which could undermine trust, including, and perhaps most particularly, in Jerusalem, any action that could be viewed as provocative by either side," she said.
The Palestinians say Israeli settlement building must stop before there are any talks.