Israel will stop building settlements only when the Palestinians make a peace deal, Israeli ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben told AFP in an interview Sunday.
"People understand," said Reuben. "I don't think they agree with the way we are going, but they definitely understand the fact that settlements are not a burden on the peace process and not something that will stop the peace process."
Reuben added that Israeli settlements in the Sinai desert did not keep the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt from happening, nor Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.
The ambassador is set to appear before a UN Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Monday, amid international demands that Israel extend a moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank.