Washington: The United States said on Wednesday it was "deeply concerned" about an Israeli decision to approve construction of 200 new homes in East Jerusalem.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the decision impeded attempts to reach a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.
"We are deeply concerned by this decision particularly given the tense situation in Jerusalem," she told a regular media briefing.
"Most importantly they are contrary to Israel`s own stated goal of achieving a two-state solution because they make it more difficult to do that," Psaki said.
The new housing is slated for a sprawling hillside complex of apartment buildings and private homes at the northern edge of Jerusalem, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city in a move never recognized internationally. Palestinians want this territory as part of a future state.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Jordan on Wednesday to meet with King Abdullah. The talks will include a discussion of the growing tensions in Jerusalem, the State Department said.
Tension has risen over Israeli-controlled access to Jerusalem`s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam`s third holiest site, where biblical Jewish temples once stood.
Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed repeatedly in recent weeks, culminating in a one-day closure of the mosque last month.
Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel on Nov. 5, the first time it has taken such action since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1994, denouncing what Amman called "violations" at the mosque.