At last, after years of ignoring the reality of the Middle East in general and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, the US administration has recognized the fact that the Israeli settlements do not pose an obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. In that sense, the Trump administration’s acknowledgment has the potential to cause the Palestinian leadership to start comprising on the core issues of the conflict, and thus hopefully assist both parties to reach a reconciliation. Eventually, in order to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the Palestinians must recognize that while Israel will need to evacuate isolated settlements in the depths of the Palestinian territory in the West Bank, the Jewish state will keep most of the settlement blocs. In essence, the reality has emphasized that the Israeli settlements are not a real obstacle to an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, and that the issue has been used by the Palestinians only as a pretext not to move forward in negotiations with Israel.First, despite statements by the Palestinian leadership on the issue of settlements together with the lack of understanding about the conflict among the international community, particularly the EU, the Palestinians themselves have already agreed that Israel will keep most of the settlement blocs in any future agreement. Both during the Oslo peace process in the 1990s and the negotiations between prime minister Ehud Olmert and Abu Mazen (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) in 2007-2008, the Palestinians agreed to an exchange of territories, leaving most of the settlement blocs within Israel.Second, while there were peace talks between the parties, especially in the 1990s during the Oslo era, the Israeli construction in the settlements did not affect the progress of negotiations between parties. During the entire Oslo process from 1993-2001, the Israeli government announced 21 times about settlement-building in the West Bank. In practice, although there is no doubt that those declarations created tensions between the parties, it can be clearly determined that the Israeli settlement constructions did not impede the progress of the peace process between the Israel and the PLO, as the Palestinian leadership headed by Yasser Arafat did not suspend its participation in the negotiations, nor insisted its halt as a precondition for negotiations. On the contrary, the Palestinian side continued to negotiate with the Israeli side in parallel with the construction of the settlements. Thus, it appears that Arafat’s responses to the Israeli settlement-building, which included public condemnations and sometimes even appeals to the UN Security Council, were aimed only to please the Palestinian public opinion, which strongly opposed the continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Given its goal was to receive from Israel as much territory as possible to his control, Arafat therefore preferred not to suspend negotiations with Israel in response to Israeli construction in the settlements. Alternatively, he chose to express a symbolic protest against the Israeli settlements construction’s policy, so that he would not be presented among the Palestinian people as a traitor who agrees with the Israeli settlements policy.THIRD, MOST of the settler population’s growth and settlement construction activities applied mainly to the settlement blocs, such as Gush Etzion, Modi’in Illit, Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev and Ariel – territories that Israel will keep in any future agreement. Thus, throughout the Oslo process during 1993-2001, more than 25,000 housing units were built in the settlements, and the population of settlers grew by 92,000 people, mainly in settlements located close to the Green Line. Specifically, in the settlements located up to 2 km. from the Green Line, there has been an increase of 39,000 people; in those located 2-5 km. from the Green Line, there has been an increase of 25,000; in settlements located 5-10 km. from the Green Line, there has been an increase of 11,000; and in those located more than 10 km. from the Green Line, there has been an increase of 17,000 people. In sum, in settlements located less than 5 km. from the Green Line, of which 96% of their residents will remain in Israeli territory within the framework of the separation fence, there has been an increase of 64,000 people, which represents 70% of the total settler population.In conclusion, despite the criticism of the EU and the UN, which not like the US, do not have any viable impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the American government’s decision is a wakeup call for the Palestinian leadership, which must start recognize the reality on the ground if it really wants to solve this intractable conflict. Hence, in order to reach a true peace, the Palestinians must stop insisting on international law-based decisions that are devoid of any practical content. Alternatively, the Palestinians must begin to embrace the concept of compromise, which hardly exists in their lexicon. The only path for an Israeli-Palestinian peace is through negotiations between the parties. Yet unfortunately, the Palestinians leadership’s decisions have only brought a continuing disaster on the Palestinian people, as through history, the Palestinian leadership has missed every opportunity to resolve the conflict.The writer is research assistant and PhD candidate at the University of South Wales.