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‘Why should it be different?’: Former Israeli justice minister skeptical about Israel-Hamas cease-fire

World leaders have welcomed the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but a former Israeli justice minister has expressed skepticism over whether the truce will hold up over time.

Yossi Beilin told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Friday that every few years, the two sides end up exchanging fire. That stops after a number of days with both sides declaring victory, he said.

“Then, after a few years, we get back to shoot each other,” he said. “It is really very frustrating, and the question of who won, who lost, is really totally marginal.”

The death toll from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza rose to more than 240 after 11 days of fighting, while at least 12 people in Israel were killed by Hamas rockets.

Why should it be different?

Yossi Beilin

Former Israeli justice minister

Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday approved a tentative cease-fire brokered by Egypt following this month’s violence, which has been the worst escalation since 2014.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Egypt informed him that Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, and other groups in Gaza had also agreed to the truce.

But Beilin appeared unconvinced that the cease-fire could be different from others that have come before.

“Why should it be different?” he said.

Beilin held multiple roles in the government over the years, and served as minister of justice from July 1999 to March 2001, under former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Call for the U.S. to play a bigger role

Municipal workers clear debris from a street as Palestinians return to their destroyed houses after “mutual and simultaneous” cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas reached with Egypt mediation took effect, ending the 11-day conflict.

Ali Jadallah | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“I don’t think that … the United States will be able to eschew from this conflict and, I think that it will — and it should — help us in trying to solve the real problem between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

“We, by now, know all the solutions for all the outstanding issues on Jerusalem and the refugees and the borders and the settlements, what we have to do is just to sit down and to have the courage to compromise,” said Beilin.

U.S. intervention may have been less important when former Israeli leaders “wanted very much” to solve the problem and partition the land, he said.

“But this is not the case today,” he said. “The case today is that the two parties are either weak or unwilling to negotiate with each other, and there is a need to encourage them to move.”


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