Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Israel's approval of 1,600 new Jewish homes in a settlement near Jerusalem was undermining Palestinian faith in new peace negotiations.

It is incumbent on both parties to build an atmosphere of support for negotiations and not to complicate them, Biden said in a media statement alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Yesterday the decision by the Israeli government to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem undermines that very trust, the trust that we need right now in order to begin ... profitable negotiations.