JERUSALEM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu rejected on Sunday a U.S. call to stop an East Jerusalem
construction project, saying Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem is
"Our sovereignty in Jerusalem is indisputable," said
Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting, "We can't agree to such a demand in
The U.S. State Department summoned Israeli Ambassador
in Washington Michael Oren over the weekend, and told him that the housing units
building project in East Jerusalem should be halted, reported both Israel Radio
and Army Radio.
The project was developed by American millionaire
Irving Moskowitz, an influential supporter of Israeli settlement in East
Jerusalem, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported.
Moskowitz bought a hotel in East Jerusalem in 1985
and planed to build housing units in the hotel's place, near Israeli government
buildings, including several ministries and the national police headquarters.
The dispute on the construction project in East
Jerusalem is the latest hint of the disagreement between Israel and the United
States over the Israeli settlements issue.
Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, captured by
Israel in 1967 and later annexed, are considered by international community as
Israeli settlements and an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The Obama administration called the Israeli
government to freeze all its settlement activities, but Netanyahu government
rejected the demand.
It is reported that nearly 300,000 Israelis live in
the West Bank settlements, along with 180,000 Israelis in Jewish neighborhoods
of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians demand the return of both areas, as parts of
the future Palestinian state.