Israel revokes HRW country director's work permit over claims of BDS support

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Israel has sought to crack down on BDS campaigners by empowering the interior ministry to nullify travel and residency permits or bar entry into Israel of individuals associated with the movement, which aims to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. Rather, his removal is simply an opportunity for Gilad Erdan-the head of make-work "Strategic Affairs" ministry given to the Likud #2 after he didn't receive a real cabinet post-to pander to the right-wing base by showing up the Israel haters.

In January, the municipality of Gennevilliers, led by Leclerc, voiced its recognition of the state of Palestine, citing a 2014 French parliament vote. The decision comes a year after the Interior Ministry granted Human Rights Watch a permit to employ Shakir as a foreign expert, after initially refusing to issue it.

Contrary to HRW's claim that "neither Human Rights Watch nor its representative, Shakir, promotes boycotts of Israel", that is exactly what Shakir has done for years.

Fifteen Israeli human rights organisations have denounced their government's decision to deport the local director of Human Rights Watch. In 2017, in addition to documenting abuses related to the occupation, Human Rights Watch reviewed Israel's record on women's rights and reported on the incommunicado detention of Israeli citizens Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed by Hamas, and criticized the Palestinian Authority's draconian cybercrime law that restricts free expression.

In other words, Human Rights Watch sent a known advocate for the total boycott of Israel to serve as its ostensibly objective man on the ground there, then lied to media outlets about it, assuming reporters wouldn't think to fact-check the august organization.

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"First time in [Human Rights Watch] history Israel orders official out", he tweeted.

"Following the recommendations of the ministry of strategic affairs, containing information that Shakir has been a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activist for years supporting the boycott of Israel in an active way, the ministry has made a decision to terminate (his) residence permit", the interior ministry said in a statement.

"The Israeli authorities must immediately stop their ongoing harassment of human rights defenders".

As part of its mandate, Human Rights Watch conducts research and advocacy that exposes and challenges violations of all actors in the region, including the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas authorities in Gaza.

HRW itself has previously been targeted by the Israeli government, as the organisation was accused by the ministry of interior in 2017 of having "engaged in politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda, while falsely raising the banner of "human rights".

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