Middle East

Israel court orders deportation of J’lem-based activist

Last May, Israeli authorities ordered HRW’s director for Israel/Palestine to leave country

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 17.04.2019
Israel court orders deportation of J’lem-based activist

JERUSALEM 

An Israeli court on Wednesday ordered the deportation of Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s Jerusalem-based director for Israel/Palestine.

The Jerusalem District Court rejected Shakir’s appeal to remain in the country, citing his stated support for international calls to boycott Israel.

“The court has given Shakir until May 1 to leave Israel,” HRW said in a Wednesday statement.

The New York-based rights watchdog has vowed to appeal the decision before Israel’s Supreme Court and is currently seeking an injunction to allow Shakir to remain in Israel until his appeal is considered.

In May of last year, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri revoked Shakir’s work visa and order him to leave the country.

The move was the first of its kind since HRW began monitoring events in Israel and Palestine three decades ago.

Wednesday’s court ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed earlier by HRW challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 law that bars anyone advocating for the boycott of Israel -- or of Israeli settlements -- from entering the country.

A U.S. citizen, Shakir has worked as HRW’s Israel/Palestine director since late 2016.

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