The Venezuelan ambassador to Britain has denied that an event, marking 10 years since the outbreak of the second intifada, glorified terrorism.
However at the event, held on Saturday at the embassy’s Bolivar Hall in London and denounced by anti-extremism campaigners as a “celebration of the murder of Israelis”, speakers expressed support for Palestinian resistance against Israel.
In a statement read on his behalf, Ambassador Samuel Moncada said: “On behalf of the government and people of Venezuela, I would like to express my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for national liberation, justice and peace.”
He attacked Israel for the clash on the Gaza-bound flotilla in May and accused critics of making false claims about Venezuela.
Mr Moncada added: “International solidarity is one of the cornerstones of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
“It is my sincere hope that the oppression suffered by our brothers and sisters in Palestine will one day come to an end.”
Speakers at the event, which was titled “The Outbreak of the Intifada: Turning Back the Empire,” also included veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner and Press TV presenter George Galloway.
Massoud Shedrajeh, of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an organisation sympathetic to Hizbollah, told the audience: “This type of the struggle is recognising what is justice, studying it, finding out what is going on.
He warned that people should not listen to “mass media”.
Mr Shedrajeh said: “It is trying to brainwash the whole society, not just over the issue of Palestinian struggle…over all issues of mankind.”
Before the event, Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, called for the police to intervene and prevent it from going ahead.