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Israel travel safety advice


Israel travel safety advice

Currently, the only area that is dangerous in Israel are the areas bordering the Gaza Strip; the rest of the country is very safe. There is a slight risk of further military action between Israel and other countries. Even travelling to the Palestinian Territories is safe nowadays, but still keep your eye on the current events if you're planning to travel to the Palestinian territories.

In general, travel to Israel is safe, and most other crime rates are well below those found in most other Western Countries. Having said this, buses and bus-stops have been targeted by Palestinian militant groups since the early 1990s. This type of attack has all but ceased since 2005 thanks to the building of the west bank security fence. Since then terrorism in Israel has largely ceased. Statistically, the chances of being involved in a traffic accident are much higher than the chances of being involved in an attack. Though it is a good idea to stay informed of developments before and during your stay. Caution should be used particularly in the disputed areas. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, or find an untended parcel, notify the Police. Also don't leave any bags unattended in a public area, as it may be suspect as a bomb. This is Israeli national policy, however, is business as usual. Police is Israel wear light blue or very dark navy clothing with flat caps, while Israeli Border Guards (similar in function to Gendarmerie) wear dark grey uniform with green berets or police ball caps. It is not unusual to see plenty of soldiers (and sometimes civilians) carrying firearms (military rifles and handguns) in public. Most of these soldiers are simply on leave from their base. Soldiers have no authority over civilians, except in specially designated zones near borders or military bases, where they are allowed to detain you until the arrival of a police officer. In terms of typical crime, Israel is a very safe country. Israel has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. You can walk around the cities and towns at night without fear, as mugging and drunken violence is rare. Single women in particular should still take care late at night but the risks here are far lower than practically anywhere in Europe and America. It is very common (Indeed, often required by law) to see private armed security guards at every public doorway (For malls, stores, restaurants, etc). The guards ask to look in your bags, and may use a metal-detector on your person. When entering underground parking lots, the trunk of your car will be inspected. Do not be alarmed: this is just national policy. If you carry huge backpacks you can often get away with showing a passport, and the guards will be just as relieved. Israel's relations with its neighbors should always be something that a traveler should be familiar with, as evidenced by the Israeli-Lebanese conflict of 2006. Despite the current cease fire there remains a low danger that the conflict will again erupt. Israel has very good relations with both Egypt and Jordan, whom Israel signed a peace treaty with in 1979 and 1994. Southern Israel desert region offers amazing hiking trails in a beautiful landscape that possesses some unique geographical features not available anywhere else in the world. However, if you are inexperienced in hiking in the desert, do not hike there without an experienced hiker, proper equipment and clothes, plenty of water, and taking the necessary precautions. Dehydration in hot days, hypothermia in cold nights, and flash floods in rainy days are serious dangers! Hiking trails in southern Israel (and in the Golan) are adjacent to military fire practice areas. If you are not certain where you are going, do not hike in this region! In similar note, especially near border areas, hiking or leaving the roadways, be aware of standing and/or fallen fences with a sign (yellow with a red triangle on it). These areas are considered off limits due to the possibility of landmines being present. Planted by the Turks, British, Vichy French, Druze, Israelis, Lebanese army, Lebanese Militias, PLO, or the Syrians (Golan Heights, Lebanese border). It could take another 100 years to clear out all those areas. Although a cease-fire is now held between Israel and Hamas Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip Travel to the Gaza Strip area is not recommended at this time, and several noted foreigners (even volunteers) were kidnapped by armed militants. Also Israel does NOT allow travel to the strip, the only way is via Egypt.

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Israel


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Israel Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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