Israel: Travel with Caution as Security Situation Remains Fluid

Israel Travel News Today

Travellers to Israel should continue to monitor the situation closely. International borders (air and land) in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories could close at short notice.

Terrorist groups and lone-actor terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs and markets/shopping malls. Violence can also occur in and around Palestinian areas.

1. Israel’s economy is thriving

From the deserts to the seas, Israel’s landscape is bursting with outdoor adventures and historic sites. It is also home to one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums, including collections ranging from prehistoric to modern times.

Even as Israel continues to spend heavily on defense, the economy is thriving thanks to a strong export sector and world-class excellence in innovation. However, a long-term conflict and Netanyahu’s controversial proposal to weaken the judiciary could slow growth.

Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists, and violent extremists may continue to plan attacks against tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The US State Department warns Americans about the heightened risks of travel to the region and recommends that U.S citizens register with the State Department and carry a passport. In addition, it advises against visiting Palestinian areas of the West Bank and to avoid the Gaza Strip altogether.

2. Israel’s tourism industry is growing

While Israel has certainly taken a hit during the current conflict, domestic tourism remains strong. This is a testament to the country’s resiliency and the enduring appeal of its unique brand of tourism.

Israelis know better than anyone that their homeland is a fascinating and captivating travel destination. The latest trends in hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions reflect this sentiment.

New hotels are popping up everywhere and historic sites are being restored. One example is the upcoming opening of a hotel on Lilienblum Street in Tel Aviv, which will be a small boutique hotel owned by Accor.

Blustin points to a relative calm in the region as another factor driving demand. She says her tour company Pomegranate sees a lot of people combining a trip to Egypt with a stop in Israel. In fact, she estimates that up to 35% of her clients visit Israel as part of a larger tour. This trend is expected to continue well into 2023 and beyond.

3. Israel’s security situation isn’t as bad as it seems

The security situation in Israel is highly fluid and can change very quickly. As such, it’s important to be aware of the latest advice from your own government and to monitor news on a regular basis.

There is an ongoing risk of rocket attack, infiltration attempts and revenge fire near areas of Israel’s border with Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. There’s also a significant military presence in these regions. Therefore, we advise travellers against all but essential travel to areas close to these borders.

Other security risks include assaults on foreigners travelling in cars during Shabbat (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) and those who are immodestly dressed. In addition, 2SLGBTQ+ travellers could face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s also recommended to stay clear of public demonstrations and avoid visiting places that have been the site of recent violence. You should also have a contingency plan in case of an emergency. For more information, check out our comprehensive travel advice page on Israel.

4. Israel is a safe place to visit

While it’s understandable that some travelers are a little concerned about traveling to Israel, the truth is, the country is still safe to visit. In fact, it’s safer to travel here than it is in many other European countries and cities.

Of course, there are some areas that aren’t safe, such as Gaza and the West Bank, but these are not the main tourist destinations. The city of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, the Negev, and Nazareth are still quite safe, and most of the trouble occurs in areas that tourists don’t usually venture to anyway.

Whether you’re interested in incredible religious and historic sites, the mineral-rich Dead Sea, or world-class cuisine, Israel is the perfect place to visit. Just remember to exercise caution, avoid demonstrations and street protests, and follow local media updates. This way, you can enjoy everything this wonderful country has to offer. Happy traveling!

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