'Holocaust'

He said that "Gaza's holocaust" was a "historic event and a tragedy" adding that the Arab world needed a "devoted committee of scholars from the Islamic world to establish an advisory body" on the future of the region, "not leadership that is formed by hypocrites".

Audio


Listen to a translation of Bin Laden's audio recording

Al-Qaeda's leader also called for support for the mujahidin in Iraq and said that his network of fighters would "go to Jordan from the sea to the river to liberate Palestine".

The tape, whose authenticity could not be verified, was the second by the al-Qaeda leader in two months in which he has focused on the Gaza offensive.

In an audio tape posted on an internet site on January 14, he called on Muslims across the world to take revenge against Israel for the war on the coastal territory.

He said that the onslaught had been timed to take advantage of the dying days of the presidency of George Bush, the former US president.

The 22-day Israeli offensive on Gaza over the new year, killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.