Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is scheduled to deliver an unprecedented videoconference address to a closed meeting of British MPs today.
A large number of MPs are expected to attend.
The Israeli Embassy in London tried unsuccessfully to get pro-Israel MPs to exert pressure to cancel the event.
In recent months, particularly after Operation Cast Lead, several MPs, including MP Clare Short, who was ejected from the Labor Party a few years ago by then-prime minister Tony Blair, have met with Meshaal in Damascus and with Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.
The British Embassy in Damascus confirmed the meeting but denied a Syrian media report that Ambassador Simon Collis attended.
Several members of the British parliament have recently urged the government to end its boycott of the Palestinian group after meeting Meshaal.
Khaled Meshaal lives in exile in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Syria.
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