JERUSALEM Israel’s prime minister Tuesday rejected international criticism of plans to build thousands more Jewish homes in east Jerusalem, insisting that construction will move forward.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the tough response as European diplomats were discussing plans to condemn Israel in the U.N. Security Council. A U.N. resolution would be the latest in a wave of angry international reactions to Israeli plans to build in areas the Palestinians claim for a future state.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Israel, and we will continue to build there,” Netanyahu said during a visit to the northern Israeli city of Acre.
He said Israelis overwhelmingly believed in “united Jerusalem,” referring to Jewish west Jerusalem and east Jerusalem, the section of the city captured from Jordan and annexed by Israel but claimed by the Palestinians.
Interior Ministry spokesman Efrat Orbach said a Jerusalem planning committee rejected proposals for additional Jewish houses to be built in east Jerusalem neighborhoods while approving 700 homes for Arab residents in that part of the city in a meeting late Tuesday.