The new US administration has not shied away from criticising Israel's illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territorities.

And when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new settler homes in East Jerusalem while Joe Biden, the US vice-president, was visiting the country last week as part of a Middle East peace inititative - the US was not happy.

A senior US official has called the timing of the announcement an "insult".

And Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, had earlier told Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, that his government was putting "US ties at risk" by failing to take action towards renewed Middle East peace talks.

Although Netanyahu has apologised for the timing of the announcement, Israel is not showing any signs of stopping the settlement expansion and the US is not backing down from its tough criticism.  

Al Jazeera's John Terret reports.

Source: Al Jazeera