WASHINGTON - Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has Thursday he is postponing a planned trip to Israel, saying he would go “at a later date after I become President of the US”.

Earlier this week, Trump proposed a halt on Muslims entering the United States, a move that met with criticism from around the world, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu came under fire from dozens of members of the Israeli parliament for planning to host the controversial Trump on Dec. 28. They called on the Prime Minister to cancel his meeting with the billionaire businessman.

“[Mr Netanyahu] said we have a meeting and he looks forward to the meeting and all of that. But I didn’t want to put him under pressure,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday. His proposed ban came days after a deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, by a radicalised Muslim couple.

The leading candidate’s remarks were met with swift criticism. Muslim leaders, the UN and foreign leaders criticised the call as dangerous and divisive, while the White House said Trump should be disqualified from serving as president.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin implicitly rebuked the leading Republican candidate saying “we have no war with Islam”. “We have war against those who are using ideas in order to create extremism and threats toward the whole innocent people of the world,” Rivlin said.