ISRAELI Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon complained on Tuesday that US criticism of Israel’s settlement policies had slowed down new construction in the West Bank.
Mr Yaalon said he hoped the slowdown would be “temporary” because the Obama administration “won’t be around forever.”
He said: “The US has led the charge. We were very, very careful not to push the envelope too much.”
Mr Yaalon has previously derided US peace efforts, calling Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic.”
Those comments annoyed Washington officials and stoked tensions with Israel’s biggest ally.
Speaking at a Jewish seminary in the West Bank, Mr Yaalon said Israel wants to build more settlement housing but that global criticism forced restraint.
Anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now said that no new settlement plans had been announced since US President Barack Obama met Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October, but previously announced housing development continues.