Yaalon Says U.S. Censure Slows Yehudah and Shomron Building

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -

U.S. criticism of Israel’s construction policies has slowed down construction in Yehudah and Shomron, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in comments broadcast Wednesday, adding that he hopes the slowdown will be “temporary” because the Obama administration “won’t be around forever.”

Yaalon was speaking in a closed-door meeting at the Makor Haim Yeshiva in Gush Etzion, but his words were recorded and excerpts of the speech were played Wednesday morning on Army Radio.

Although he wants to build more housing, global criticism, led by the United States, has prompted restraint, he said. The comments came just a day after a report that Yaalon had lost the confidence of the Likud right-wing, in part due to his failure to move ahead with building projects in Yehudah and Shomron.

“The United States has led the charge,” Yaalon said. “We are very, very careful not to push the envelope too much.