Israel was set to expel the country director of Human Rights Watch on Monday after a lengthy court battle over claims he supports a boycott of the Jewish state.
American citizen Omar Shakir, the New York-based rights group’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon, where he was greeted by around 20 supporters.
He denies the allegations and accuses the Israeli government of seeking to suppress dissent.
“Today culminates a two-and-a-half year effort to deport me over my human rights advocacy, an effort to muzzle Human Rights Watch,” Shakir said at the airport.
“One day you will welcome me here, I hope, when it is a better day -– a day in which all people, Israeli and Palestinian, have their human rights respected.”
He was due to fly out early on Monday evening.