UNITED NATIONS – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemning Israel said that he was “disappointed and alarmed” by Israel’s approval for the construction of its first completely new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory of West Bank in 25 years.

“The secretary general has consistently stressed that there is no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace and security,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“He [Guterres] condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution,” he added.

Israel’s so-called security cabinet on Thursday unanimously voted in favour of the new settlement in two decades.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement Thursday night, announcing that the new settlement will be built near the West Bank settlement of Emek Shilo and the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The move was swiftly condemned by Palestinian officials, with Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, saying the announcement once again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace.”

The Israeli ministers also approved the construction of 2,000 settler homes out of the 5,700 units announced two months ago, and endorsed the expropriation of 90 hectares (222 acres) of Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Eli north of Ramallah. – APP