Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the accelerated construction of some 2,000 housing units in areas in the West Bank and around Jerusalem, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The statement came after Netanyahu called a special cabinet session to discuss the granting of full membership to the Palestinians by UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, a move opposed by Israel and the United States.

A senior government official said after the meeting that the cabinet had also decided to halt money transfers to the Palestinians Authority as a temporary measure until a final decision was made.

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