JERUSALEM – Fifteen Israeli human rights organizations have denounced their government's decision to deport the local director of Human Rights Watch, saying that such actions put Israel "squarely on a list of disreputable states."
The groups said in a joint statement Wednesday that "neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us, or them, from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control."
A day earlier, Israel announced that Omar Shakir, a U.S. citizen, had two weeks to leave the country, alleging he had supported boycotts against Israel. Shakir is the Israel/Palestine director of Human Rights Watch.
The group said neither it nor Shakir supports boycotts and that it would challenge the decision in an Israeli court.