Israel rejects request to delay rights activist's expulsion

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli judge has rejected a request to delay the planned deportation of the local director of Human Rights Watch and ordered him to leave the country by next Thursday.

The New York-based group had asked the court to allow Omar Shakir to remain in the country until a court rules on his appeal of the expulsion order. But in its decision Thursday, the court rejected the request.

Israel this month ordered Shakir out, claiming he supports boycotts of Israel.

Human Rights Watch says that neither it nor Shakir, a U.S. citizen, support boycotts and accuses Israel of trying to muzzle criticism of its human rights record.

Human Rights Watch says it plans an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court on Monday.