(JTA) — The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Israel’s Interior Ministry to postpone consideration of two proposed eastern Jerusalem housing projects.
The two projects — 930 housing units planned in Har Homa and dozens more in Pisgat Zeev — had been scheduled to be considered Thursday at a meeting of the ministry’s Jerusalem district planning committee. The postponement request was reported on Tuesday by Israeli newspapers.
Three weeks earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office had asked the Interior Ministry to postpone discussion of four other housing projects in eastern Jerusalem.
Israeli newspapers have suggested that the postponements are an effort to avoid tension with the Obama administration, which has clashed with Israel over the issue of building in eastern Jerusalem. Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Washington this month and offer a peace plan during an address to the U.S. Congress.