New Bin Laden tape warns Israel

Western leaders condemned for taking part in country's 60th birthday celebrations.

    Bin Laden: 'Not a single inch of Palestine will be given up as long as there is one true Muslim on earth' [EPA]

    "Western leaders' participation with the Jews in this celebration confirms that the West supports this oppressive Jewish occupation of our nation and that they are in the same trench as the Israelis against us," he says.
     

    The release of the tape comes as George Bush, the US president, ends his visit to Israel to celebrate the country's 60th anniversary.

     

    Middle Ages mindset

     

    "They have confirmed this practically by sending their troops to South Lebanon, in order to help Jews achieve victory," Bin Laden says in his message.

     

    "The political leaders of the West are still living under the Middle Ages mentality, by oppressing the others, occupying their land, killing their free leaders and spoiling their wealth.

     

    "This is what Bush and Blair explicitly and clearly maintained when they invaded Iraq to steal its oil and humiliate its people."

     

    Bin Laden says Palestine is at the heart of the Muslim battle with the West, and it was an inspiration to the 19 bombers who carried out the attacks on US cities on September 11, 2001.

     

    "We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies ... and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on earth," he says.

     

    Seized land

     

    Bin Laden says Israel's anniversary celebrations are a reminder that it did not exist 60 years ago, and had been established on land seized from Palestinians by force.

     

    "This is evidence that Palestine is our land, and the Israelis are invaders and occupiers who should be fought," he says.

     

    He noted that decades of peace initiatives had failed to establish a Palestinian state, and said the West sided with Israel.

     

    Laura Mansfield, an organisation that monitors Islamist websites, said Bin Laden appeared to be changing his emphasis.

     

    "In his initial messages, bin Laden's focus was on the removal of US forces from (Saudi Arabia) but in recent years he has more closely wedded himself to the Palestinian issue."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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