The deputy leader of the al-Qaida terror group, Ayman al-Zawahri, spoke out against early elections in the Palestinian territories, saying in a video tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that elections would not lead to "liberation."
Entering the argument over Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's proposal for early elections to resolve the conflict between the Fatah and Hamas parties, al-Zawahri said the only way was armed struggle.
"Any way other than holy war, will lead us only to loss and defeat," al-Zawahri said.
Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, al-Zawahri said: "Those who are trying to liberate the Islamic territories through elections based on secular constitutions, or on decisions to hand over Palestine to the Jews, will not liberate one grain of sand of Palestine."
In a Wednesday morning news bulletin, Al-Jazeera broadcast a short clip of a video tape that it had received, saying it would air a longer segment later, the AP says.
The broadcast came two days after a posting on a militant Islamic Web site announced that a message from al-Zawahri was coming.