CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden released a message yesterday accusing Arab leaders of sacrificing the Palestinians and calling on Muslim militants in Egypt to help break the blockade of Gaza.

Bin Laden called Arab leaders "agents of the crusaders" and "wolves" in the audio message posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al Qaeda leaders have issued statements before. He portrayed the citizens of Arab nations as herds of sheep who have been handed over to the wolves to look after them.

"Every day, the herd wishes the wolves would stop preying on it," he said.

"Those [Arab] kings and leaders sacrificed Palestine and Al-Aqsa to keep their crowns. . . . But we will not be relieved of this responsibility," bin Laden said.

Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City is one of the holiest sites for Muslims.

Al Qaeda leaders are increasingly using the Israeli-Arab conflict in their media campaign to rally supporters. Israel has warned of growing al Qaeda activity in Palestinian territories, although the terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

The new audiotape comes just two days after bin Laden's last audio message was released, marking the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation.

He vowed to continue what he called his struggle against the Jewish state. *