|The speech by the terrorist network's co-founder was broadcast on the al-Jazeera Arabic satellite channel.
Al-Zawahiri declared a Jihad (holy war) against Israel on behalf of the global Jihadist movement. "All the world is a battlefield open in front of us," he said, rejecting the concept of an eventual cease-fire. "Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the Crusaders…War with Israel does not depend on ceasefires. It is Jihad for sake of God and will last until our religion prevails from Spain to Iraq."
Islamists believe that since Spain was once controlled by Muslims, it must be wrested from the hands of "the infidels" in the same manner as Israel.
"The shells and rockets ripping apart Muslim bodies in Gaza and Lebanon are not only Israeli, but are supplied by all the countries of the crusader coalition. Therefore, every participant in the crime will pay the price," al-Zawahiri said.
The Egyptian doctor was filmed in front of a photo of the World Trade Center and two top Al-Qaeda terrorists killed in recent years. This is Al-Zawahiri's tenth message released to the public this year.
It is unclear whether al-Zawahiri's declaration has a theological effect on his followers' desire to strike Israel. Already on February 23, 1998, he issued a joint fatwa, Islamic ruling, with Osama bin Laden entitled "World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders," which called upon Muslims to destroy Israel.
The al-Qaeda number-two seemed to express a sense of admiration for Israel in his critique of the Muslim world. He also suggested that the world cared more about Israelis than Palestinians. "The 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel's prisons do not move anything while three Israeli prisoners have shaken the world," he said.