A defiant Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed renewed US criticism of Jewish home construction in the disputed city of Jerusalem.
“ The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today,” he said. “ Jerusalem is not a settlement – it is our capital.”
The Israeli prime minister’s remarks contrasted sharply with those made earlier by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the same pro-Israeli forum.
She had described Israeli settlement policy in the city and the West Bank as “endangering peace talks with the Palestinians”.
Netanyahu is on a three day visit to Washington and is set to meet President Barack Obama later today.
Relations between the United States and Israel have been at an all time low since Israel announced plans to build 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians are demanding a settlement freeze before sitting down to US mediated peace talks.