The issue of halting construction both of and inside existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria highlighted growing tension between Jerusalem and Washington on Wednesday when Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the American capital.
During a press conference following the meeting, Clinton told reporters that the Obama Administration is determined to see "a stop to the settlements."
Lieberman, who himself lives in a Judean settlement, responded that Israel cannot accept a complete freeze on communities where thousands of people live.
London's Financial Times described the exchange at the press conference as "one of the most tense encounters between the sides for several years." One can only imagine how hostile the air must have been when the two were behind closed doors.
Earlier in the week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejected the Obama Administration's demand that he halt even natural growth in Jewish settlements.