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Palestine Expo attracts thousands despite pro-Israel lobbyist opposition Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Palestine Expo attracts thousands despite pro-Israel lobbyist opposition

Discussions, food stalls and art galleries were some of the features of Palestine Expo [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 July, 2017

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A celebration of Palestinian heritage and culture was held in London this weekend despite attempts by pro-Israel lobbyists to have the event cancelled.
A celebration of Palestinian heritage and culture attracted thousands in London this weekend, despite attempts by pro-Israel lobbyists to stop it.

Palestine Expo, thought to be the largest event of its kind in Europe, was held on Saturday and Sunday, featuring art galleries, augmented reality tours of Palestinian landmarks, comedy, food stalls and demonstrations.

High profile speakers, including the journalist and film maker, John Pilger, and the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, were also scheduled to appear.

UK Communities Minister Sajid Javid had previously threatened to cancel the event after pro-Israel activists alleged that the events organisers, Friends of al-Aqsa, had links to Hamas.

He sent a letter telling organisers that "concerns that your organisation and those connected with it have expressed public support for a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, and that you have supported events at which Hamas and Hizballah – also proscribed – have been praised".

Ismail Patel, a founder of Friends of al-Aqsa, dismissed the claims as "false and baseless allegations" against his group.

Organisers hoped to attract 10,000 people over the weekend.

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