RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Israel says it's a case of bad timing, and not part of any intent to embarrass Vice President Joe Biden during his visit there.
Israel is apologizing for disrupting Biden's Mideast visit with its announcement of 1,600 new homes in disputed east Jerusalem. Israel also made it clear it has no intention of reversing the order that has cast a shadow over the latest U.S. push for Mideast peace.
The construction is slated on lands Palestinians claim for a future state.
Biden's talks with the Palestinians today were aimed in part to ease their doubts about the latest U.S. peace efforts.
Israel's planned construction in east Jerusalem was an embarrassing setback after a day of warm meetings with senior Israeli officials. It drew an unusually harsh condemnation from the vice president.