critical Israelis in the Netherlands



Palestinian children rights discussed in Dutch parliament

February 12, 2014

In the week of Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Salwa Duaibis of the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling and Gerard Horton of Military Court Watch visited the Netherlands. They spoke at a public meeting in CREA, Amsterdam and at a closed meeting at the Asser Institute in The Hague. They also visited some MPs to inform them about the recent developments in Israel with regard to the detention of Palestinian children.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed Minister Timmermans’ foreign policy towards Israel. This was in relation to the agreements that were closed in December concerning the Cooperation Forum with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, respectively.

Part of the discussion focussed on the continuing violation of the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation. Joel Voordewind of the Christian Union, Pieter Omtzigt of the CDA, Sjoerd Sjoerdsma of D66 and Michiel Servaes of the PVDA all asked Minister Timmermans about the announced improvements of the regime.

The MPs stressed that a proper treatment during the first 24 hours of detention is of paramount importance and that it is necessary to eliminate the abuses that take place during this period. They also asked whether the Israeli military had already implemented the criticism from the UNICEF report “Children in Israeli military detention”.

Minister Timmermans replied that the responsible minister of justice Livni is aware of the situation and finds it unfortunate. But there are several requirements that must be observed. The minister promised to maintain pressure on the Israeli government. However, he said that the agreements concerning the Cooperation Forum would not be supplemented with additional conditions in relation to the issue of Palestinian children in Israeli detention.