Van Bommel: 'Urgent debate needed on ill-treatment of Palestinian children’

21 June 2013

Van Bommel: 'Urgent debate needed on ill-treatment of Palestinian children’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has requested an urgent parliamentary debate on a newly-published UN report on ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israel. ‘The report shows that Israel is guilty of abuses of the rights of arrested Palestinian children,’ he explains. ‘Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans stated repeatedly last week that he saw no occasion as things stand to increase pressure on Israel. This report must change that.’

Harry van BommelIn the report from the UN Commission on Children’s Rights numerous breaches of international law are summarised. Palestinian children are, for example, subject to torture and degrading treatment, interviewed in languages which they do not speak, and kept for long periods in solitary confinement. The Commission is also concerned by reports of the use of children as human shields and as informants. In the period 2002-2012, around seven thousand Palestinian children between the ages of twelve and seventeen were arrested by the Israeli military or police, most of them for stone-throwing, for which the maximum prison sentence is twenty years.

‘This extremely critical report shows once again that grave violations of international law are coupled with the continuing occupation of the Palestinian Territory by Israel,’ says Van Bommel. ‘There is unfortunately little reason to think that the ill-treatment of Palestinian children has stopped since 2012. As well as this ill-treatment of children, the continual enlargement of the settlements, the construction of the Wall and the ongoing blockade of Gaza are all violations of international law. It’s unacceptable that none of this has had any effect on relations between the Netherlands and Israel, or between the EU and Israel.’

You are here