Israel has rejected calls from the United States, the European Union and Russia to halt a controversial building project in the occupied east Jerusalem (al-Quds).
"Israel acts and will act in line with its national interests and in particular for anything affecting Jerusalem. Our rights in Jerusalem, including its development, cannot be challenged," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement.
The remarks came after Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko warned Israel not to violate Middle East peace plans by expanding settlements in east Jerusalem.
"The settlement should be stopped immediately in line with the roadmap," said Nesterenko on Tuesday.
The project to build 20 apartments on a site in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, is being developed by an American millionaire in the annexed city.
Eli Yishai, interior minister and deputy prime minister also refused to accept internatiol calls, saying "Israel is not a subsidiary of any other country in the world. The government and the state of Israel have the right to build anywhere in Israel when such projects have obtained all legal approvals."
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.
The regime has since constructed thousands of settlements in the occupied city housing more than 285,000 Israelis.