JERUSALEM, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Tuesday slammed a report by the United Nations' diplomatic quartet accusing it of building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"The UN envoy to the Middle East's remarks to the Security Council distort history and international law and push peace farther away," a statement by the prime minister's office read on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister's media adviser, who signed on the statement, went on to call the accusations of illegal Israeli settlement construction "absurd."
"The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal," the statement read.
"Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the Jewish biblical names for the West Bank) for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace," it added.
Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip territories, home to millions of Palestinians, during the 1967 Mideast War. The Palestinians wish to establish a state in these territories.
The international community views the Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on the two-state solution.
On Monday, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations' coordinator for the Middle East process, told the UN Security Council that Israel's construction in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem had surged in the past two months.
The report is the result of the work of the diplomatic Quartet, namely the UN, the U.S., the European Union and Russia.
It charges that since July 1, Israeli authorities have advanced plans for more than 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem, annexed in 1981, and 735 housing units in the West Bank.