Government’s new Brexit Secretary helped Palestinians negotiate Oslo

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Government’s new Brexit Secretary helped Palestinians negotiate Oslo

Dominic Raab spent a summer in the West Bank in 1998 and helped one of the Palestinians' lead negotiators

Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab

The Government’s new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union had a lead role advising the Palestinian during the Oslo peace negotiations in the 1990s.

Dominic Raab MP, who replaced David Davis MP as lead Brexit negotiator on Monday morning after the latter resigned, has a Jewish father and spent years working on the Israel-Palestinian conflict at the Foreign Office.

A trained lawyer and Oxford graduate, Raab spent the summer of 1998 studying the conflict at a West Bank university near Ramallah, where he worked for a principal Palestinian negotiator through the Oslo process, assessing World Bank projects.

Two years later he joined the Foreign Office where he advised on war crimes and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until 2006, when he became Davis’s chief of staff. As Brexit secretary he is now one of the most senior cabinet members.

In a blog written in 2010, one week after Israeli commandos stormed the Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara, killing nine activists, Raab said Israel’s blockade of the Strip was “a legitimate means of maritime warfare”.

He added: “Whatever the legalities, however powerful Israel may be militarily, the country is losing the struggle for moral authority… Israel must find a way to extricate herself from a conflict that saps her strength, and compounds her isolation.”

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