Criticising Israeli parliament’s passage of a bill to legalise thousands of settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said the move goes against international law and will have legal consequences for Tel Aviv.
The legislation retroactively legalises about 4,000 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
"The Secretary-General deeply regrets the adoption of the [bill] ... This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far-reaching legal consequences for Israel," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General insists on the need to avoid any actions that would derail the two-state solution," said Dujarric.
The bill contravenes Israeli Supreme Court rulings on property rights and mars longstanding international efforts to resolve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel's attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit has described the legislation as unconstitutional, saying he will not defend it at the Supreme Court.
Palestinians have condemned the law, adopted by Israeli lawmakers on Monday, as a blow to their hopes of statehood.