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Bin Laden vows to fight for Palestinians

May 17, 2008|From the Associated Press

CAIRO — Osama bin Laden vowed Friday to fight on behalf of the Palestinians, claiming their cause is at the heart of Al Qaeda's holy war with the West.

Bin Laden's audio statement was released to coincide with Israel's 60th anniversary and as President Bush was wrapping up his visit there.

"We will continue our struggle against the Israelis and their allies," Bin Laden said in the 10-minute audio posted on a website used frequently by Al Qaeda. "We are not going to give up an inch of the land of Palestine."

Al Qaeda is increasingly using the Israeli-Arab conflict in its media campaign, but is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

Bin Laden said the Palestinian cause was the most important factor driving Al Qaeda's war with the West and claimed it was the motivation for the 19 hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.

The authenticity of the message could not be verified, but the voice resembled that on previous Bin Laden audios. Though there was no indication of when the message was recorded, it referred to Israel's anniversary celebration, which began May 8.

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