UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is criticizing Israel's foreign minister for revealing their private conversation in breach of diplomatic practice.
The UN chief responded to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's appeal for greater balance toward the Jewish state with renewed condemnation of Israel's approval of 1,600 new homes in east Jerusalem.
Ban took a tough line before leaving Tuesday night for a major meeting on the Mideast and a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
He told a news conference that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and called for Israel to end its near blockade of Gaza.
Ban said it was "regrettable" that Lieberman disclosed details of their phone conversation Monday night to the media without an agreement in advance on what should be released.