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Israeli Court Upholds Deportation Order of Human Rights Watch’s Local Director

Israel’s Jerusalem District Court upheld a deportation order against Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s local director, and gave him until May 1 to leave the country. The court rejected his appeal of a May 2018 deportation order issued by Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri based on Shakir’s activities targeting Jewish communities in the West Bank. The court considered these actions as tantamount to supporting a boycott of Israel. Jerusalem in 2017 passed a law that allows the Interior Ministry to expel non-Israeli citizens if they promote the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. While Human Rights Watch said it does not promote the blacklisting of Israel, it previously called for companies to cease operations in Jewish communities located in territories the Palestinians claim for a future state. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and its policies therein are deemed by most of the global community to be in breach of international law. Human Rights Watch said it would seek an injunction to block Shakir’s deportation.