The White House has expressed regret at Israeli plans to build new settler homes in the occupied West Bank before considering a freeze. It calls the move counter-productive to efforts to launch peace negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is understood to be planning to back work on hundreds of new homes, in addition to 2500 units already being built.
President Barack Obama has been pressuring Israel to halt construction of the settlements, which are a major obstacle in the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The Palestinian and French presidents have called the plans unacceptable.