Al Qaida's second-in-command urged Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip not to succumb to Arab pressure for a truce with Israel and vowed to support fighting against the Jewish state, Reuters reported.
In a recording posted on the Internet on Monday, Ayman al-Zawahri said: "Israel's Arab aides are trying to impose a calm (truce) on the people of Gaza to stop their jihad ... I tell our brothers and folk in Gaza that jihad to liberate Palestine and all Islamic land should not stop."
"I reaffirm to our brothers, the fighters in Gaza and everywhere, that the mujaheddin against crusaders in various battle zones are willing to give their brothers in Gaza and everywhere training and preparation," said Zawahri.
Without naming Hamas, Zawahri warned the Islamist group against joining with non-Islamist factions under the umbrella of the PLO, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.