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‘Why Should It Be Different?': Former Israeli Justice Minister Skeptical About Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire

Ali Jadallah | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
  • World leaders welcomed the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but Israeli former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin has expressed skepticism.
  • Israel's security Cabinet approved a tentative cease-fire brokered by Egypt following this month's violence.
  • 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.

World leaders have welcomed the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but an Israeli former 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.

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.

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 then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

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

Beilin acknowledged that Egypt has helped a lot so far, but said the U.S. should help Israel and the Palestinians solve the long-term conflict.

According to White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Washington had over 60 calls with senior leaders in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the region.

Biden said his administration will continue its "quiet relentless diplomacy" to help Palestinians and Israelis live safely and securely with "equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy."

Beilin said the issue between Israel and the Palestinian territories had not been "not very high" on Washington's agenda since the situation had been quiet.

Now, however, it has "exploded in our faces," he said.

"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, referring to Washington.

"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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