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Clinton: Verbal agreements do not apply

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Any verbal agreements between the United States and Israel on settlement growth no longer apply, Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

“There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements,” the U.S. secretary of state said Friday. “If they did occur, which of course, people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Israeli officials and officials of the Bush administration have suggested that in exchange for the 2005 Gaza Strip evacuation, the United States would accommodate a degree of  “natural growth” in West Bank settlements, despite the freeze called for in the 2002-03 "road map" peace plan.

“There are contrary documents that suggest that they were not to be viewed as in any way contradicting the obligations that Israel undertook pursuant to the road map,” Clinton said of any verbal agreements. “And those obligations are very clear.”

The Obama administration has called on Israel to freeze settlement growth and on the Palestinians to end violence and incitement.

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