Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reportedly decided to ask the Housing Ministry to postpone an announcement of further settlement construction beyond the Green Line until after US Secretary of State John Kerry's impending visit.

In a bid to avoid international criticism, the premier was seeking for the ministry to refrain from publishing building tenders for 1,400 new housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The move was expected to follow Israel's release overnight Monday of the third batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture for peace talks, Army Radio reported.

The top US diplomat was due to arrive to the region Thursday.

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