Monday, March 15, 2010

US-Israeli relations in 'crisis of historic proportions'

Israel has admitted its relations with the United States are in a "crisis of historic proportions" in the wake of the row over 1,600 new settler homes.

Officials said they had hit a "35-year low" after a visit by Vice President Joe Biden last week was overshadowed by the announcement.

Washington has warned Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, that he will remain out of favor unless he accedes to a series politically painful demands.

In a telephone call, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, ordered Mr Netanyahu to reverse a decision to build 1,600 homes for Israeli settlers in occupied East Jerusalem that sparked the diplomatic row.