Dec 2, 2012
The Israeli approval of 3,000 new housing units  in east Jerusalem and the West Bank came as a shock to the US administration, the New York Times reported Saturday.
The Americans were particularly angry at the decision to pursue “preliminary zoning and planning preparations” for a development on the segment connecting the town of Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem (known as area E1) that would separate Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem and could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.
According to the NY Times, the timing of the two actions seemed aimed at punishing the Palestinians for their United Nations bid, which resulted in Palestine being upgraded to the status of a non-member state .
The Obama administration rushed to condemn the action, and senior officials expressed their frustration over the fact that the construction decision came after Israeli officials had suggested that they would only employ harsh retaliatory measures if the Palestinians used their new status to turn to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.