Making NGOs AccountableAdvanced Search

Defense for Children International - Palestine Section


Country/TerritoryPalestinian AuthoritySwitzerland
In their own wordsMission: “Promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian children in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), as well as other international, regional and local standards.”



  • Established in 1992, DCI/PS is affiliated with the Geneva-based Defence for Children International, an NGO established in 1979, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, UNICEF, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe

    Political Advocacy

  • Supports BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and is an active participant in lobbying the UN, EU, and other international bodies to promote this agenda.
  • Calls for Israel to “accept historical and legal responsibility for the Nakba, and recognise the principle of the right to return that was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution No. 194 in 1948.”
  • In 2015, DCI-PS and American Friends Service Committee initiated a campaign, entitled “No Way to Treat a Child,” to “challenge Isael’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.” The groups call upon the United States government to pressure Israel to end “abuse of Palestinian children,” and encourage supporters to write members of congress on behalf of their cause. The campaign claims that a letter addressed to President Obama calling for the establishment of a Special Envoy for Palestinian Children, initiated by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and signed by 20 US congressmen, was a “direct response” to demands made by its supporters.
  • Published a 2009 “urgent appeal,” calling the UN Human Rights Council members to “endorse all the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report…and submit the report to the General Assembly and the Prosecutor of the ICC for appropriate action.”
  • Following the 2010 “Free Gaza flotilla,” DCI-PS joined a number of other political advocacy NGOs in petitioning “the international community as a whole,” to “enforce[] sanctions against Israel until such time as ends the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories.” The same letter urged the EU to “suspend or cancel the EU-Israel Association Agreement” and demanded that “the UN [] act immediately to implement the recommendations of the Goldstone report.”
  • Published a list alleging that 352 children died “as a direct result of Israel’s military offensive” in the Gaza war. (PCHR claimed that 313 children were killed during the fighting.)  Some of the individuals on DCI-PS’ list, such as Ibrahim Mostafa Fraih Sa’id and Ibrahim Abed al-Rahim Rajab Suliman, have been identified by B’Tselem and PCHR as combatants. In these instances, DCI-PS wrote, “Despite DCI-Palestine’s best endeavours to collect affidavits from eyewitnesses to [the child’s] death, no reliable evidence could be gathered.”
  • Accused Israel of “deliberate targeting of civilians” in Lebanon, “terrorizing the civilian population” in Gaza, and “collective punishment,” and referred to the Gaza conflict as Israel’s “illegal act of aggression.”
  • DCI-PS continues to promote the libel of a “Jenin massacre” on its website, including a statement on the “horror” of the “Israeli army massacre in Jenin refugee camp.”
  • An op-ed published by former DCI-PS director Rifat Odeh Kassis (March 1, 2011) on Electronic Intifada promoting the antisemitic canard of dual loyalties against Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal, characterizing him as “so blind, so brazen, so hypocritical and so unjust.”
  • Kassis is also the coordinator and spokesperson for the Kairos Palestine document that advocates BDS targeting Israel, noting that “These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil.”  In addition to BDS, it reflects supersessionist theology, exploits related themes to demonize Israel, denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel, and ignores the extreme harassment and violence committed by Palestinians against Christians.
  • DCI-PS’s board of directors includes Shawan Jabarin (director of Al Haq and board member of HRW), who has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terror group.

All Articles about Defense for Children International - Palestine Section

Further Reading