JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's interior minister has given final approval for a plan to build 1,600 settler homes in East Jerusalem, a project whose announcement last year during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden caused a diplomatic rift with Washington. The official announcement Thursday of the go-ahead from Interior Minister Eli Yishai could weigh on US-led efforts to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking United Nations endorsement of statehood in the absence of peace talks they suspended over Israeli settlement construction. Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, called on the United States, the European Union and other sponsors of the Middle East peace process to pressure the Israeli government to halt the settlement plans. Meanwhile, the White House urged Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday not to take unilateral actions that could undermine chances to renew long-stalled peace talks. White House spokesman Jay Carney spoke after Israel's interior minister gave final approval for a plan to build 1,600 homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, a project whose announcement last year during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden caused a diplomatic rift with Washington.