Tue, May 20, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Bin Laden slams Arab leaders over fate of Palestinians

AP , CAIRO

Osama bin Laden released a new message on Sunday denouncing Arab leaders for sacrificing the Palestinians. He singled out the head of Shiite Hezbollah, saying he really did not have the strength to take on Israel.

In his second audio message in three days focusing on the Palestinians, the al-Qaeda leader said the only way to liberate Palestine is to fight the Arab regimes who are protecting Israel.

And he called on Muslim militants in Egypt to help break the blockade of Gaza.

Bin Laden said Muslims should ignore the Islamic prohibition against raising arms against fellow Muslims, claiming it was legitimate to rise up against leaders who are not governing according to Islamic law.

“Those [Arab] kings and leaders sacrificed Palestine and al-Aqsa to keep their crowns,” bin Laden said, referring to al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites. “But we will not be relieved of this responsibility.”

His 22-minute audiotape was posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaeda leaders issue their statements. The authenticity of the message could not be immediately verified.

Bin Laden’s last audio message, released on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel’s establishment, vowed to continue al-Qaeda’s struggle against the Jewish state.

He calls Arab leaders “agents of the crusaders” and “wolves” and portrays Arab citizens as herds of sheep who have been handed over to the wolves to look after them.

He said Israel was weak but the Arabs have not fought “even a single serious war to get Palestine back.”

Bin Laden singled out Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

Bin Laden said Nasrallah claimed he had enough resources to fight Israel.

“But the truth is the opposite,” he said. “If he was honest and has enough [resources], why then he did not support the fight to liberate Palestine.”

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