Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom on Wednesday dismissed claims that his Likud party was conscientiously advancing construction plans in east Jerusalem to gain more votes.
"Construction is not part of our [election] campaign," Shalom was quoted by Army Radio as saying.
"Building in Jerusalem is not an poke in the eye to anyone, but rather is an entrance to the heart of all," he said.
Shalom described the building plans as the natural culmination of a lengthy process: "We have planning committees that completed their work, approved the plans, and published them as designated," Shalom said. "These things then become public knowledge and that is fine."