I actually believe Yishai that he personally was not aware of the coming construction decision. But somebody on the approval committee did know and did try to make a point to the US. such timing is not likely to be random. The reason the Palestinians refused to engage in DIRECT talks with Israel was exactly Jewish construction in (legally occupied) East Jerusalem. There is now a short period of time when Israel is to agree to freezing construction there (as required by the Roadmap), or the US will publicly blame it for this and impose some "punishment". Count now on Biden to insist on a high cost as "punishment'. Netanyahu will be put between the rock of Biden and the hard place of right wing ideologues of Likud. Hopefully, Netanyahu will fall.
Obama says world must reach climate deal in Paris 'while we still can' (Reuters)
from the article: Yishai: Sorry for distress over East Jerusalem plan