It would be a huge mistake for Israel to maintain a presence in Gaza after the war, Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO, told Al-Monitor in an exclusive interview this week.
Amid reports that there is no concrete plan for what comes next, Beilin, a former deputy foreign minister, justice minister and close associate of late President Shimon Peres, said that Israel must start thinking realistically about "the day after" the war in Gaza. He also stressed that the events of Oct. 7, shattered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes for peace with Arab countries as an attempt to the Palestinians to accept his conditions.
Assessing that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas might refuse to take over the management of the Gaza Strip, Beilin cautions Israeli leadership to avoid getting entrenched in the Gaza Strip, arguing for an international consortium led by the United Nations or the Arab League in the interim stages.
Beilin, a Knesset member and minister for the Labor Party before joining the left-wing Meretz party as its chairman, a position he held until he retired from politics in 2008, also expressed doubts about Israel's ability to eradicate Hamas entirely.