Hague Convention

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Yes - but only in relation to alleged wrongful removal or wrongful retention of minors between the two countries from 1.4.2014 and thereafter. Japan has only recently become a Hague Country, and the Convention is in effect between Israel and Japan only in relation to alleged child abduction or after this date. Alleged child abduction between Israel and Japan prior to this is not covered by the convention.

The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 is a multilateral treaty intended to:

  • trace and secure the prompt return of children under the age of 16 who have either been ‘wrongfully’ removed from one Contracting State to another or ‘wrongfully’ retained in another Contracting State, and
  • organise or secure the effective exercise of access (visitation) rights. 

    ‘Abduction’ means ‘wrongfully removing’ to another country or ‘wrongfully retaining’ a child in a country where he has not been ‘habitually resident’, i.e. living.

Yes  . Under the Hague Convention Law (Return of Abducted Children) 1991, Israel incorporated the Convention into domestic law and is bound by its provisions.

The "Hague" Countries that are bound by the Hague Convention in relation to abductions to and from Israel are:  


  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Bahamas
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • China 
    (Special Administrative Regions of 
    Hong Kong 
    & Macau)
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Zimbabwe

  New countries may join the Convention in the future so that it applies to abductions between them and Israel if Israel accepts their accession.

No. The case is decided upon principles set down in the Convention, and in general, the child's best interests/welfare is not examined at all by the Israeli Family Court hearing the case, except where certain defences such as 'grave risk' are proved, or the child has been in the country for more than a year by the time the plea reaches court. This is because the rationale behind the Convention is that it is not in the child's interests to be abducted, and it is in his best interests to have any custody battle decided in his/her home country.

Firstly, its full name is the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980. It is a treaty binding over 60 different countries in the world designed to deal with abduction of children between them quickly – and return them to their home country as soon as possible, save for in exceptional situations.

If the child has been abducted to Israel, the application under the Hague Convention must be made to the Family Court for the area where the child is located. If the location is not known, then the application should be made to the Tel Aviv Family Court.

Yes. As the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction only applies to children up to the age of 16, abduction involving minors aged 16-18 cannot be dealt with by these proceedings, even if both countries are bound by it. Where such alleged abductions are to Israel, and involve 16-18 year olds, it is necessary to apply in Israel for an order of Habeas Corpus to the Family Court or the High Court of Justice, irrespective of where they were living before. The Israeli Family Court has primary jurisdiction to deal with a custody application of a child below the age of 18.

Yes, providing the other country involved is also bound by it.

Yes, providing that the other country is also a party to the Hague Convention. In other words, the convention applies to abduction to and from Israel between where the other country is also a Hague Convention country.If the abduction is from Israel, then the legal proceedings for the child's return under the Hague Convention will be made in the appropriate court of the country where the child has been abducted to.

Most of them, but not if the abductions involve Bolivia or Paraguay.

Yes, because these countries are bound by the Hague Convention, which also covers abductions between these countries and Israel in the other direction.

Possibly, as many of these states are bound by the Convention, vis a vis abductions from Israel, including Ukraine, whose accession to the Hague Convention came into force in 2007. The Russian Federation finally acceded to the Hague Convention in 2011, Israel accepted its accession, on 21.12.2011, and it came into force for abductions between the two states on 1.3.2012. Accordingly, Hague Convention proceedings can be used if the abduction from Israel to Russia took place on or after 1.3.2012.

No. None of the Israel's neighbouring Arab states are signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The concept of parental authority and rights under Islamic law is very different from the guiding principles behind the Convention.The only Arab state bound by the Hague Convention is Morocco, though it is not a close neighbour. It became a Hague Country in 2010. The Hague Convention is in force regarding child abduction between Israel and Morocco, as of 1.6.2010.

Yes, Morocco and Tunisia. Israel accepted Morocco's accession to the Hague Convention in 2010. The Hague Convention came into force regarding abductions between Israel and Morocco from 1.6.2010. Tunisia acceded to the convention on 10.7.2017 but Israel has not accepted its accession and the convention is not in force for abductions between the two countries.

In this case the Convention will not apply, and the 'left-behind' parent will have to bring an action for the child's return in the country to which he/she has been abducted.

It should not, as the case will be heard by a civil court, the appropriate family court, and the principle governing the plea are those of the Hague Convention, which are not related to religion at all.

Yes, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction covers abductions between Israel and Australia, which have both ratified it.