Responding to US criticism that settlement construction was pushing peace further away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Tuesday that it was criticism that was pushing peace away.
"We will continue building in Jerusalem, our eternal capital. We've built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and will continue building in Jerusalem," he said.
"I heard a claim that our construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem is pushing peace away, it is criticism that is pushing peace away," Netanyahu added.
The US State Department said Monday that recent Israeli actions are not reflective of an administration pursuing peace.
"We view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The State Department expressed concerns following reports of expedited construction beyond the Green Line.
"These statements, which are detached from reality, are the ones that foster false statements from the Palestinians," Netanyahu said.
"When Abbas incites to murder Jews in Jerusalem, the (international) community remains silent, but when we build in Jerusalem they are angered. I don't accept this double standard," the prime minister went on to say.
"Just as the French build in Paris and just as the English build in London - Israelis build in Jerusalem," he concluded.