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Bin Laden blasts 'moderate' Arab states over Gaza war

In an audio recording played Saturday by Al Jazeera, the Al Qaeda chief accused Arab states of collaborating "with the Crusader-Zionist alliance" against Muslims.

By Correspondent / March 15, 2009

Osama bin Laden lashed out at "moderate" Arab states in a new statement released to Al Jazeera Saturday night for being "complicit" in "the Holocaust of Gaza."

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The 22-day war between Hamas and Israel came to an inconclusive halt on Jan. 19, and killed as many as 1,300 Palestinians, many of them women and children.

"It was clear that some of the Arab leaders have collaborated with the Crusader-Zionist alliance against our people, those whom America calls the moderate leaders," said the Al Qaeda leader, according to The Associated Press. "We must disown ourselves from all those" governments.

Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia maintain close ties with Washington. Of the three, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are absolute monarchies and Egypt is ruled by a de facto President-for-life. Both Jordan and Egypt have signed peace deals with Israel, and enjoy full diplomatic relations and moderate levels of trade with the Jewish state.

Egypt was widely criticized throughout the Arab and Muslim world during the Gaza war for refusing to permanently open its border with the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas. It is the only country, besides Israel, to border Gaza and many Arabs and Muslims believed it should have done more to help the victims of the fighting.

Is this anything new?

Not really, according to a US counterterrorism official quoted by Agence France-Presse.

"Al Qaeda addresses these themes with some frequency and at this point, there doesn't appear to be anything new here," the unnamed source told AFP.

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