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Al-Qaida Deputy Urges Muslims to Reject Palestinian Referendum Plan

The number two leader of the al-Qaida terror network has urged Muslims to oppose a referendum proposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ayman al-Zawahiri made the statement in a videotape aired Friday by the Arabic television network al-Jazeera. He said Palestine is a house of Islam and not subject to any compromise.

Mr. Abbas has proposed to hold a referendum on a Palestinian statehood plan that recognizes Israel. Mr. Abbas of the Fatah party has given the militant group Hamas until the end of the week to agree to the statehood plan or he will call the referendum.

Mr. Abbas has been in a power struggle with Hamas since the militant group took control of the Palestinian Authority earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.