Washington: The United States today blasted Israel for pledging to build 1,000 more settler homes in Arab east Jerusalem, saying any such move would be "incompatible" with peace efforts.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington was "deeply concerned" by the reports and American embassy officials were having high-level talks with Israeli leaders to seek more information.
"We continue to make our position absolutely clear that we view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem," Psaki told reporters.
"Israel's leaders have said they would support a pathway to a two-state solution, but moving forward with this type of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace," she added.
Washington repeatedly condemns moves to build Jewish settlements either in the West Bank or east Jerusalem. The city is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as their future capital in any peace treaty.
But the US fails to back its words with any threatened consequences against Israel, and remains the country's staunchest ally.
"Ties between us are unshakable," Psaki reiterated.
"There are times when we disagree with actions of the Israeli government, including... The issue of settlements, where we have deep concerns about some of the steps the government is taking," she said.
"We expressed those, but it does not mean that we don't have a strong and formidable relationship that continues."
Israel seized east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.