Top US officials stationed in Israel have taken it upon themselves to monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and other areas claimed by the Palestinian Arabs.
According to the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, the US ambassador to Israel, the US consul general in Jerusalem and other officials demand regular updates from Israeli ministers associated with building committees.
As a result of that pressure, building permits for thousands of new housing units in Jerusalem have been held up indefinitely. Government and municipal officials have confirmed that there is an unofficial Jewish building freeze in Jerusalem because of the American pressure.
In related news, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday told London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington had guaranteed him there would be no "provocations" by Israel during the start of US-hosted indirect peace talks scheduled to take place next week.
The Palestinians view Jewish construction in most of Jerusalem as a provocation, and in response have refused to negotiate with Israel.