The Palestinian Hamas party distanced itself from a statement from Osama bin Laden on Sunday condemning the West for its actions.
In an audiotape message broadcast by Aljazeera on Sunday, the al-Qaeda leader said the decision by Western governments to halt aid to the Hamas-led government and impose other sanctions proved the West was in a "crusader war" with Islam.
Commenting on bin Laden’s message shortly afterwards, Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, said the group’s ideology was "totally different" from that of bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
"What Osama bin Laden said is his opinion, but Hamas has its own positions which are different to the ones expressed by bin Laden," he said.
However, he said that what he called the "international siege on the Palestinian people" would inevitably lead to tensions in the Arab and Islamic world.
"It’s natural that this tension is going to create an impression that there is a Western-Israeli alliance working against the Palestinians"
"It’s natural that this tension is going to create an impression that there is a Western-Israeli alliance working against the Palestinians," Abu Zuhri said.
He added that Hamas was "very keen to have good relations with the West" but said that Western policies were inflaming tensions.
In the past, Hamas leaders have distanced themselves from al-Qaeda, saying their struggle is only against the Israeli occupation and does not fit into the group’s worldwide radical Islamist effort.
*this article was reprinted from aljazeera.net