UNITED NATIONS : United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Wednesday’s announcement that Israel has approved construction of some 300 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, as well as the planning and construction of nearly 500 housing units in a number of settlements in East Jerusalem.

“He reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law, an impediment to peace, and cannot be reconciled with the Government of Israel’s stated intention to pursue a two-state solution,” a statement issued by the secretary-general’s spokesperson said.

Further to the statement, the Secretary-General urged the Government of Israel to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement. “The Secretary-General remains concerned about the imminent threat of demolitions in the Palestinian village of Susiya in Area C of the West Bank,” the statement added.