One can’t find one single issue in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that is not complicated with Israeli established settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Not only is it the core issues of the conflict, but also any likely arrangements to minimize friction and tone down the conflict, turns up to be impossible to implement because of settlements.

If one looks at how the army is deployed inside the Palestinian territories, it is painfully obvious that much of the deployment is to satisfy settlers’ needs.

If you examine the network of military check posts and roadblocks imagining that settlements were not there, it would be possible to immediately reduce them by 90%, considerably easing Palestinian living conditions while at the same time satisfying the security needs of Israel.

If the separation wall is to be built on for security reasons only, it would have naturally followed the green line. But, with settlements like Ariel, it has to be pushed deep into the West bank.

Jerusalem stands as an unsolvable issue because of settlements; disengagement is impossible to implement because of settlements; Bush’s vision for a viable Palestinian state turns out to be inapplicable because of settlements.

No surprise, settlements were built to fulfill this exact role; to make peace based on a territorial compromise impossible.