The United Nations Mideast envoy on Saturday condemned Israel's decision to resume house demolitions in the West Bank, which he said alarmed him.

Earlier this week, the Israel Defense Forces knocked down dozens of shacks in two West Bank villages, leaving dozens of Palestinians homeless.

UN envoy Robert Serry said that Israel agreed in April to halt the demolitions. He urged the Israeli government to reinstate the moratorium.

According to Serry, Israel's actions send a discouraging signal about Israeli support for efforts to improve living conditions in the West Bank.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says at least some of the houses were built illegally.

"The fact that the UN continues to ignore the specific circumstances of each case and prefers to express generalized criticism makes these statements very unhelpful," Palmor said.