Palestinian refugees should capitalize on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.
He was giving his first major speech since a popular uprising in neighboring Egypt forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign, an event which electrified the Arab world and prompted speculation that other Arab governments could also be toppled.
"In the context of the popular Arab revolutionary movement, the Palestinian refugees... must march on Palestine, along with their families," he said.
He urged Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Syria to head for the Palestinian borders, olive branches in hand in a sign of peace.
"If they find themselves repulsed by the enemy," he said, referring to Israel, "then let them set up camp on the borders. You have to create a problem before the world will act."
"Fleets of boats should take Palestinians ... and wait by the Palestinian shores until the problem is resolved," Gaddafi was shown saying on state television. "This is a time of popular revolutions."
"We need to create a problem for the world. This is not a declaration of war. This is a call for peace," he said in a speech given to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohamed, a holy day in the Islamic calendar.
He also said: "All Arab states which have relations with Israel are cowardly regimes."
Palestinians have long demanded that refugees who fled or were forced to leave by attacks of Jewish militants in 1948 should be allowed to return, along with their descendants.
AgenciesGüncelleme Tarihi: 14 Şubat 2011, 11:42