A newly-released recording of Osama bin Laden compared Israel's January military strikes in Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust and renewed the al-Qaida leader's condemnation of Arab states for, in his view, failing to support the Palestinians.
A brief audio recording of bin Laden was aired by the Al-Jazeera satellite channel. Its authenticity could not be immediately verified. It refers to the Israeli military operation in Gaza in December and January, and charges that Arab states were, in bin Laden's words, "complicit with the crusader-Zionist alliance against our people."
The three-week war between Israel and Hamas fighters left 1,300 Palestinians dead. Leading Sunni Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia were criticized around the Arab world for what the critics called feeble and ineffective efforts to help the battered residents of the Gaza Strip.
Bin Laden also called on Muslims to support Islamist fighters in Iraq, where U.S. and Iraqi forces claim to be winning the fight against al-Qaida and other armed militants.