Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Tuesday refused to apologize for building in Jerusalem after the US criticized Israeli plans to build 2,610 homes in the neighborhood of Givat Hamatos, which is beyond the Green Line."I say this firmly and clearly: building in Jerusalem is not poisonous and harmful – rather, it is essential, important and will continue with full force. I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel's capital. Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country," Barkat said."2,600 apartments in Givat HaMatos that we approved two years ago will enable more young people from all sectors and religions to live in Jerusalem and build their future here, thereby strengthening the capital of Israel. We will not apologize for that," he added.