For years, the United States has officially condemned these settlements – they are an obstacle to peace – but has avoided calling them illegal to prevent Israel from facing international sanctions. A 1978 U.S. State Department legal opinion indicated that Jewish settlements in occupied territory are not authorized by international law, but President Ronald Reagan said in a 1981 interview that settlements were “misguided” but “not illegal.” George H.W. Bush was the first president to tie the amount of aid Israel would receive to its settlement construction and to deduct the cost of building settlements from U.S. loan guarantees. Clinton later authorized exceptions for settlement construction in East Jerusalem and for “natural growth.” In 2004, George W. Bush wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in which he realized that “new realities” or settlements would prevent Israel from returning to the borders before 1967 in a peace agreement. Most governments believed that Israel would retain its three largest blocks of settlements, in exchange for any peace agreement, to cede other countries to the Palestinians, and felt that it was not realistic for Israel to be able to force so many of its citizens out of the settlements. While the Obama administration was taking steps to protect Israel from political movements that tried to punish Israeli companies operating in the West Bank, it also rebuked Israeli settlements by abstaining from a UN Security Council vote that declared settlements illegal. And he was quick. Mr. Trump surrounded himself in the Oval Office with a large delegation of aides and officials who received exuberant praise for him, and joked that the agreement should be called the “Donald J.
Trump Accord.” At a later briefing, White House National Security Adviser Robert C. O`Brien even announced that the president would win the Nobel Peace Prize. While the slowness of the Madrid talks took place, a series of secret meetings took place in Oslo, Norway, between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, culminating in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords between Palestinians and Israel, a plan that examined the elements and conditions necessary for a future Palestinian state “on the basis of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338”.  The official Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, DOP was signed on September 13, 1993 on the White House lawn. “Let you never run out of stock with your friends,” tweeted Hanan Ashrawi, an experienced Palestinian politician, in response to the agreement.