The US has criticised Israeli plans to build hundreds of new homes in existing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
State department spokesman John Kirby called the plans the “latest step… in a systematic process of land seizures”.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply disappointed” by the Israeli government’s decision.
The international Quartet of Middle East peace mediators also recently criticised settlement construction.
About 570,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.