The news that Israel's Interior Ministry has approved the construction of 1,600 new homes for Jews in east Jerusalem has quickly cast doubt on the prospects for restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks -- which only yesterday looked like they would soon be getting going again (with the U.S. mediating).
Israel's Haaretz writes that the announcement "effectively prevents any peace negotiations from taking place, the Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday."
The Jerusalem Post says that "Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed the move, saying it was destroying trust needed to go forward with the new round of indirect peace talks, which the two sides agreed this week would take place under the mediation of US envoy George Mitchell."
Even before today's news about the 1,600 homes, Al-Jazeera was reporting that any such additional announcement would likely scuttle plans for peace talks:
Update at noon ET, March 30: The word "disputed" has been deleted from the post -- previously we said "disputed east Jerusalem." That word is unnecessary.