U.S., Israel Bump Heads over Settlements

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak meets Monday with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell in New York City.

The ongoing disagreement between the U.S. and Israel over building in West Bank settlements will top their agenda.  President Obama is demanding a complete freeze to Israeli construction in the West Bank. 

But Israel's deputy prime minister told the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem on Monday that Israel and the U.S. had a verbal agreement allowing Israel to build in existing communities.

"Ariel Sharon accepted the idea of two states and the road map because there was a broad agreement on what you do with settlements.  Settlement freeze that was the term used in that agreement was interpreted in an agreed way by Israel and America and acted upon for six years. We haven't heard a word for six years from the American administration on the way it was done," Avigdor Lieberman said.

The New York Times is reporting that some Israeli government officials are willing to suspend construction in settlements for 3 to 6 months.

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