UN Sec.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that he is "deeply troubled" by the Israeli government's decision to convert three West Bank outposts into settlements.

A special ministry panel decided late Monday night to designate the outposts of Bruchin, Rehalim and Sansana as official settlements under Israeli law.

"The Secretary-General reiterates that all settlement activity is illegal under international law," a statement from Ban read, adding that the decision was a "provocation" and contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map. 

"The Secretary-General is disappointed that such a decision comes at a time of renewed efforts to restart dialogue."

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