Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri
Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri Photo by AP
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Al-Qaida second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri blasted Arab leaders for having "surrendered" to Israel after their last summit in March, according to a new message posted Monday on Islamist websites.

"Arabs met in Sirte, (Libya), and they only came out with what they call strategic peace choice. What strategic peace choice, when they are sending a message of surrender to Israel that 'We have given up, so do whatever you like in Palestine,'?" asked a voice, purportedly al-Zawahiri, the top deputy to terrorist network chief Osama bin Laden.

Produced by al-Qaida's media arm, al-Sahab production, the piece features an audio statement in Arabic from al-Zawahiri, criticizing the Arab summit where leaders announced their support for the indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Al-Zawahiri accused summit participants of conspiring with the United States and Israeli policies in the region, and he attacked Egypt's steel barrier to Gaza, which he described as "a disgrace to the people of Egypt."

In recent months, Egypt has been criticized for building an underground barrier beneath its border with the Gaza Strip, in a bid to cut the number of smuggling tunnels between Rafah and the Israeli- besieged enclave.