Al-Qaeda Deputy Calls for Jihad on Gaza

Ad Feedback - CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued a call for jihad ('holy' war) to break Israel's economic blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In an 11-minute audio recording entitled, "In Memory of the Naksa [Arabic for 'setback'] Break the Siege of Gaza," al-Zawahri said the "salvation of the Muslim nation is through the march of its sons on the path of jihad.

"The sons of the nation should break the shackles of the treacherous regimes and move to wage jihad, which has become a duty," he said.

The message is a follow-up to remarks by Osama Bin Laden on May 18 rebuking the Arab nations for not waging war against Israel.

Al-Zawahri also criticized Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his security forces, calling them "criminal traitors," for not reopening the Rafah border crossing between the Sinai and Gaza.

The al-Qaeda deputy told Palestinians in Gaza they should have the right to enter Egypt through the Rafah crossing.

"You have the right to enter Egypt whenever you like and destroy the treacherous siege," al-Zawahri said. "Those who confront you should not blame anyone but themselves," he said.

Al-Zawahri's audio-taped message came shortly after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for renewed dialogue with Hamas.

Source: The Associated Press

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