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Palestinians Hire Advisors In U.S.

The firm, Independent Diplomat, has a history of taking on clients seeking statehood.

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NEW YORK — The Palestinian mission to the United Nations has recruited an advising group to represent it in the United States, new records filed with the Department of Justice this week show.

The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations has signed a three-month contract with Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory firm helmed by Carne Ross, a former high-level British diplomat who resigned from the Foreign Office in protest of the Iraq War.

Independent Diplomat has signed on to "provide advice to the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations on its diplomatic strategy. The advice will include analysis of the diplomatic situation, for example at the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and obtaining views of the US Government," the filing in the Foreign Agents Registration Act reads.

The Palestinians' move to hire advisers in the U.S. comes as they have increasingly gone to the U.N. to seek recognition of a Palestinian state, a tactic that angers the Israelis.

The firm will "seek the views of the US Government by meeting with key officials and desk officers in the State Department and other US agencies," the FARA filing reads.

The agreement began on Aug. 1 and stipulates that it continue for the duration of the recent Gaza war, which has since concluded, and not continue for more than three months. The agreement also stipulates that Independent Diplomat not work with any other party involved in the crisis.

Independent Diplomat has a history of taking on clients seeking statehood, including Somaliland and Western Sahara.

"We've talked to them about this and that for a while and I think we offered our help to them and we've begun a sort of relationship," Ross said. The scope of the agreement "obviously includes Gaza but also includes their future," he said.

This story has been updated with Carne Ross' comment.

Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.

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