critical Israelis in the Netherlands



Palestinian children in Israeli detention

Support our campaign for Palestinian children in Israeli detention. Please send Minister Timmermans the attached postcard with your name and signature.  Fore a printed version of the postcard you can contact us at

Since 1967, Palestinian children as young as 12 years have been prosecuted in Israeli military courts and imprisoned inside Israel. These children are generally arrested in the middle of the night by heavily armed soldiers and taken, bound and blindfolded, to interrogation and detention centres, usually located inside settlements. Reports of ill-treatment during arrest, transfer and interrogation are common place, leading to the provision of confessions and conviction by military court in the overwhelming majority of cases. Since June 2011, gate48 is leading, together with five other Dutch organisations, a campaign for Palestinian children in Israeli detention. To learn more about our campaign, please visit the site of the Nederlandse coalitie voor Palestijnse kinderen in Israelische gevangenschap.


Results of our campaign

  • 20 May 2015, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders makes a statement to the parliament on child detention. In a parliamentary debate on “the situation in Israel and Gaza.” “……The situation of Palestinian child prisoners is very worrisome. The impact on the Palestinian community is high, to some extent because of the nightly arrests. On some points we are making progress, and I also want to continue with that”….”
  • May 2015, The Human Rights Ambassador of the Netherlands visits Ofer military court. The visit to the military court is also a result of the Dutch expert report that was presented to the Ambassador in April 2014
  • 15 January 2015, The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, provided a written update to the Dutch Parliament on the situation of Palestinian children prosecuted in Israeli military courts in the West Bank. Read the written update in Dutch here
  • 13 May 2014, Minister Frans Timmermans published his reaction to the questions asked in Foreign Affairs committee of the parliament in regard to the Military Court Watch report ‘The UNICEF Report – One year on’. for Minister Frans Timmermans reaction
  • April 2014, The new report of a Dutch multidisciplinary group of experts, Palestinian children and military detention was presented to the foreign affairs committee of the Dutch parliament. This committee session was initiated and led  by MP Michiel Servaes (PvdA).
  • April 2014, MP Harry van Bommel (SP) asked questions in the foreign affairs committee regarding the new report of Military Court Watch, The UNICEF Report – one year on.
  • February 2014,  Dutch parliamentarian Han ten Broeke (VVD) asked parliamentary questions on a pilot project announced by the Israeli army, in which nightly arrests would be replaced by written calls for Palestinian suspects (including minors) to report to the army itself. On March 13, 2014 Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans published his answers to the questions, in which he stated inter alia that he welcomed the announcement. To read the questions and answers click here.
  • February 2014, Palestinian children rights discussed in Dutch parliament.
  • October 2013, The answer of minister Timmermans  to the parliament about the situation of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention and the concerns and involvement of the Dutch government in this issue.
  • June 2013,Foreign minister Frans Timmermans expresses his concerns to Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni about the arrest, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army during his visit to Israel/Palestine in June 2013. See NOS
  • January 2013, the CDA asked questions in the parliament about the detention of Palestinian children.
  • December 2012, during the yearly financial planning debate in the Dutch parliament, the issue of Palestinian children was raised in reaction to a letter send by the coalition by MP Joël Voordewind (ChristenUnie).
  • September 2012, in an election debate organized by gate48 and Palestine Link Frans Timmermans, then spokesperson of the PvdA and now the foreign minister said: “martelen van een kind […] onaanvaardbaar [is]’, en dat ‘als Israël zegt een rechtsstaat te zijn […] dit niet getolereerd mag worden in Israël’.
  • June 2012, the SP congress voted in favour of a resolution against the detention of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. On the end of June the GroenLinks congress passed a similar resolution. Both resolutions mentioned that this decision is a direct result of the work of civil society organizations in the Netherlands.
  • May 2012, the coalition sends an open letter to Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal concerning the use of solitary confinement on Palestinian children. The letter was accompanied by a list of signatories, consisting of 460 people and 15 Dutch organizations people. here.
  •  June 2011, as direct result of the visit of Gerard Horton from DCI Palestine to the Dutch parliament, the leader of the SP Emiel Roemer, on his first tour of Israel/Palestine together with MP Harry van Bommel, chose to include a visit to the military court guided by Gerard Horton. Wassila Hachchi (D66) also visited the military court under guidance of Gerard Horton as well as a direct result of here meeting with him.
  • June 2011, as a direct result to a letter send to MP’s by gate48 and EAJG MP Harry Van Bommel asked questions to the Dutch Foreign Minister concerning this issue of Palestinian children in Israeli detention