(AFP) – May 18, 2008
DUBAI (AFP) — Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden will shortly deliver a "very strong" message to Muslims, a website used by Islamist militants announced on Sunday.
"To the Islamic ummah (nation), soon, God willing, a very strong address from the lion of Islam, Sheikh Osama bin Laden," the Internet site said.
The announcement comes two days after an audio message posted on the Internet in which bin Laden slammed Western leaders for taking part in Israel's 60th birthday celebrations.
"The participation of Western leaders with the Jews in this celebration confirms that the West supports this ugly Jewish occupation of our lands and that they stand in the Israelis' trench against us," he said on Friday.
Bin Laden vowed that Muslims would battle on for Palestine.
"We will continue the fight against the Israelis and their allies... and we will not give up one inch of Palestine, God willing, as long as there is one sincere Muslim on this earth."
US President George W. Bush was among top leaders who joined in Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, an occasion marked by Palestinians as a "catastrophe."
Bush addressed the Israeli parliament on Thursday at the start of a regional tour, praising the Jewish state and hailing what he called "unbreakable" ties between the two nations.
The speech, in which Bush made only brief mention of Palestinian statehood aspirations, angered the Palestinians, their leader Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday in Egypt after talks with Bush.
"Bush's promises to (set up a Palestinian) state in the full sense of the word are empty promises," bin Laden said in Friday's message.
The Al-Qaeda chief has taken taking credit for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States which killed nearly 3,000 people and triggered the US-led invasion of Afghanistan..
In a previous message on March 20, bin Laden urged Muslims to support the insurgency in Iraq as the best way to help the Palestinians, and accused Arab leaders of backing Israeli attacks on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The Saudi-born bin Laden has a 25-million-dollar bounty on his head but his whereabouts are unknown.
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