Can I still bring legal proceedings to get my teenage son back from Israel to the States after his dad (my 'ex') has failed to return him from a visit there, if he has now turned 16? I know my 'ex' is manipulating our son and he is the one behind this, though he claims our son wants to stay in Israel,and not return home to the States, where he has been in my custody since my divorce several years ago.

Answers

Firstly, you cannot bring fast track Hague Convention  proceedings to get a return order because although both Israel and the United States are bound by a special convention  on child abduction, it only applies to minors under the age of 16.

Secondly, you could bring non-Hague proceedings in Israel,to recognize and enforce a foreign order, from  an American court, that  you should  try to obtain first , declaring the USA to be his 'home' , his retention in Israel as unlawful, and ordering his father to return your son to your custody , in  the U.S.A . The Israeli family  court would have discretion whether to recognize and enforce the American court order  or not, making sure your son has the opportunity to have his voice  heard.  The Israeli Family court  may refuse to return your son if he, himself, objects strongly, and is found not be subject to manipulation from his father. If  your son  has no strong views  on the subject and is willing to return /or is found to be subject to manipulation/incitement  from his father, then, the Israeli family court may well recognize and enforce an American court order to send him back to the States, even if the Hague Convention itself does not apply because your son has just turned 16.