UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel on Tuesday to reverse its "confiscation" of land in Judea and Samaria, describing the decision as "an impediment to the two-state solution" that calls to divide Israel.
Ban's words came after Israel declared 234 hectares of territory to be state land, in a process of designated unclaimed land in Judea and Samaria as property of the state.
"Such actions appear to point toward an increase in settlement activities and demonstrate that Israel is continuing to push forward in the consolidation of its control of the West Bank," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
"Settlements are illegal under international law and the secretary-general urges the government of Israel to halt and reverse such actions in the interest of a just and comprehensive peace and a just final status agreement," he said.
Ironically the 2012 Levy Report proved that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is in fact legal according to international law. The report has yet to be adopted by the Israeli government.
Making the UN condemnation all the more surprising is the total lack of UN response to the European Union's (EU) illegal construction on Israeli land for Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, in a rampant and blatant breach of the 1994 Oslo Accords.
Peace Now, a radical leftist organization that monitors Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, said the order to declare state land was signed on March 10 as US Vice President Joe Biden wrapped up a visit to Israel and to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
According to Peace Now, the land could help link up Jewish communities in the area.
"This declaration is a de-facto confiscation of Palestinian lands for the purpose of settlement," it claimed in a statement. "Instead of trying to calm the situation, the government is adding fuel to the fire."
The statement refers to the ongoing Arab terror wave, which has raged since last September fueled by PA incitement and already claimed the lives of 34 victims. Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer has delegitimized the defense of civilians against terrorists by calling such defense "executions," in statements of libel that have fueled the PA's incitement.
AFP contributed to this report.