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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Lebanese cleric says drop US investments
Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah
Sheikh Fadlallah was Hezbollah's spiritual leader
Lebanon's most influential Shia cleric has called on Muslims and Arabs to withdraw their US investments, warning that they might be frozen.

Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah was speaking at weekly prayers.

"There has to be a change of mindset in ... dealings with America, particularly by withdrawing Arab and Islamic assets from US investments because of new laws, which represent a danger of freezing or confiscation under decisions that spring from September 11," he said.


America financially supports Israeli military actions against Palestinians

Sheikh Fadlallah
His call follows threats last week by Saudi Arabian investors that they might withdraw some of the $600bn (388bn) they have invested in the US.

The Saudis were responding to a $1,000bn lawsuit filled in the US accusing members of the royal family and Islamic charities and banks of financing Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Sheikh Fadlallah was, for several years, a leading figure in the Hezbollah movement and a significant link between Lebanese Shi'a and the revolutionary leadership in Iran.

'Watch' America

He also told worshippers at Friday prayers that the US was bankrolling Israel's military campaign against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"The American cover for Israel's invasion of Palestinian cities is strong, America financially supports Israeli military actions against Palestinians," he said.

Anti-American sentiment is also high in the Arab world because of US threats to take further military action against Iraq.

"The Arab and Islamic people must study the hidden background to the American action, which will not stop in Iraqi territory but will go on to contain and control all that it can ... in order to affirm American leadership of the sources of oil in the region and the world," said Sheikh Fadlallah.

See also:

22 Aug 02 | Business
16 Aug 02 | Americas
12 Mar 02 | Americas
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