The new EU settlements guidelines "will encourage nothing but delay in the resumption of peace negotiations," Finance Minister Yair Lapid wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Friday.

In a piece titled "Europe’s Stance on Settlements Is a Blunder," Lapid argues that "In one fell swoop, [the Europeans] have emboldened the extremists, allowing them to triumphantly claim to Mr. [Mahmoud] Abbas. 'You see, we were right all along. You must not negotiate. We don’t have to do anything. The international community will do our job for us.'"

Last May, Lapid said in an interview with the Times that he opposes a freeze on Israeli settlement construction as a gesture to jumpstart negotiations with the Palestinians. He also claimed that President Abbas is not a partner for peace.

A day after the interview was published, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni leveled criticism at the statements made by Lapid, saying they "do not coincide with his party's elections promises."