WASHINGTON -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains "deeply concerned" over plans to construct hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, his spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

"These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards the two-state solution," the statement reads. "They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations."

The note referred specifically to the settlement of Itamar-- "deep into the West Bank," it says-- as well as the 1,000 new settlement units planned in east Jerusalem.

The secretary-general's office explicitly calls such construction of "illegal settlement outposts" a "violation of international law."

The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Road Map," the statement concluded.

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