“Russophile” Atuan, Supporter of Terror Against Israel, Received by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

“Russophile” Atuan, Supporter of Terror Against Israel, Received by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

Abdel-Bari Atuan, the editor-in-chief of Rai Al-Yaum publication has made his way to Moscow, as per the reports by the Russian Foreign Ministry. He is there to participate in the second congress of the International Russophile Movement, a significant event in the international political sphere.

On February 29, the well-known Palestinian writer was welcomed by Mikhail Bogdanov, who is the special representative of the Russian President for Middle East and African countries, and also holds the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. In a detailed conversation with Bogdanov, they discussed the evolving situation in the Middle East, focusing specifically on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This information was shared through an official statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

It’s important to mention that Atuan’s visit to Moscow coincides with the ongoing negotiations between Hamas, Fatah, and other Palestinian factions, thereby adding more significance to his presence in the Russian capital.

Abdel-Bari Atuan, now 74 years old, is a significant figure in the Arab world. Born in Dir al-Balah, located in the Gaza Strip, Atuan moved away from Gaza at the age of 17 to pursue his education. His educational journey began in Jordan and eventually took him to Egypt. He studied journalism at Cairo University and also received a diploma in English-Arabic translation. Post his education, he began his career in journalism, working initially with the Al-Balaag newspaper in Libya and then at Al-Madina in Saudi Arabia. In 1978, he relocated to London, which has been his home ever since. He found work at the Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. His career further progressed when he became the editor-in-chief and later the chairman of the board of directors of the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper from 1989 to 2013. Atuan has claimed that he received threats from Arab, Israeli, and other intelligence agencies due to his firm stance. Later, he established the website “Rai Al-Yawm”, becoming the editor-in-chief and one of the main authors of this publication.

Atuan has gained global recognition as the journalist who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1996 while bin Laden was in hiding in Afghanistan’s caves. Despite having interviewed bin Laden, Atuan has always maintained that he does not support the ideas of al-Qaeda. However, he has been a consistent supporter of the “Palestinian resistance”. He has, in the past, referred to the terrorist attack in the Jerusalem Yeshiva “Merkaz HaRav” on March 6, 2008, which resulted in the death of eight students and injuring 11 more, as “legitimate”. The Israeli Foreign Ministry and Israeli Embassy in London have noted that while Atuan tends to moderate his statements when speaking in Western media, he is often more vocal in his support of terror against the Israelis when speaking on Al-Jazeera and other Arab media. In recent years, Atuan has been consistent in his support for the Russian authorities, even after the Russian army invaded Ukraine. He has referred to Vladimir Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, as a “Zionist” in his articles.