World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defied criticism of his government's plan to build thousands of Jewish-only settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.
"I heard claims that building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem… distances us from peace," Netanyahu said Tuesday.
"Such criticism is… detached from reality," he argued. "I can't accept double standards when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict."
On Monday, Netanyahu ordered 1,060 new Jewish-only housing units to be built in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli premier claimed that the international community remained silent when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incited the killing of Jews, while strongly condemning settlement construction in Jerusalem.
"We built and we will continue to build in Jerusalem our eternal capital," he said, referring to Jerusalem.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories captured by Israel in 1967, deeming all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site. Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before stalled peace talks with Israel can resume.Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ekim 2014, 16:17