British Minister Threatens to Ax Major Palestinian Event Over Support for Hamas

London's Palestine Expo is one of the biggest Palestinian events in Europe; Organizer Friends of Al-Aqsa calls minister's accusation 'hearsay from a pro-Israeli lobby group'

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A Palestinian event scheduled to kick off in London on July 8 might be nixed after a British official raised concerns over the organizers' alleged support for Hamas, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

Some 10,000 are expected to attend Palestine Expo, one of Europe's biggest Palestinian events, which will include debates, concerts, comedy acts and other activities.

But the gathering, which is organized by Friends of Al-Aqsa, has been cast into doubt by the governmental department responsible for the venue where the event is meant to take place. 

In a letter to Friends of Al-Aqsa, the minister who heads the department, Sajid Javid, said the organizers "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," according to the report.

Responding to the letter, Friends of Al-Aqsa accused the department "of acting on hearsay from a pro-Israeli lobby group."

"They have failed to provide any satisfactory reason as to why they have chosen to cancel an event which seeks to celebrate Palestinian culture and heritage," the organization's founder, Ismail Patel, wrote. 

Patel vowed to go forward with the gathering and to "seek a judicial review of this unfair and unjust decision."