Foreign travel advice

Israel

Summary

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • Gaza
  • the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar and within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town
  • east of Route 98 along the Syrian border.

On 29 November 2016 the 7th Fatah General Conference will start in Ramallah, West Bank. Expect an enhanced security force presence, road closures and traffic congestion in and around Ramallah for the subsequent 4 to 5 days.

The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is fast moving, tense and unpredictable. You should be vigilant at all times and keep up to date with local media and travel reports.

In Israel and the West Bank, including Tel Aviv, East Jerusalem and the Old City (particularly the Damascus Gate area) and Hebron, there have been numerous violent clashes between protestors and security forces and stabbing, shooting, arson, vehicle ramming and stone throwing attacks on people and vehicles. These types of incidents also happen along Route 60 within the West Bank (the main road connecting Jerusalem with Nablus and Hebron) and along Route 443 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There’s a risk that tourists or bystanders could be caught up in any incident.

British government staff are advised to use Route 1 where possible. If you use Route 443, be vigilant and if possible avoid stopping between the Maccabim check point and Jerusalem. There have also been several violent incidents in the northern West Bank area (north of Tappuah). Individuals carrying weapons have been arrested in Nablus.

Be especially vigilant and take great care at the Qalandiya checkpoint between East Jerusalem and Ramallah, in areas close to refugee camps, in and around Israeli settlements and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah. There has been a recent increase in demonstrations and rioting on Al Quds Street near Balata refugee camp in Nablus. You should use alternative routes where possible.

There’s a risk of increased tension around Jewish high holidays (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succoth) and after Friday prayers and on religious holidays. Demonstrations and other forms of civil unrest can occur at short notice and often turn violent. See Safety and security.

There have been a number of violent incidents on public transport and near public transport lines in Jerusalem, including the Light Rail network. You should avoid travel on the Light Rail north of Ammunition Hill and be vigilant if you use Ammunition Hill station itself. You should avoid using buses in Jerusalem.

Take extra care when using public transport in Tel Aviv, in particular at transport hubs, and when using buses in the greater Tel Aviv area. You may wish to consider using other forms of transport.

Rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel on a number of occasions in 2016. Further rocket fire is possible and you should familiarise yourself with the safety actions that you should take in the event of a warning siren.

The security situation on the border with Egypt remains volatile. Take extra care and be vigilant when using Route 10 which runs along the Israeli border with Egypt and is subject to closures by the Israeli authorities. You may wish to consider using other routes.

In northern Israel there have been an increased number of incidents of accidental or deliberate artillery, rocket or mortar fire from Syria into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Take care when travelling in areas of the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights.

Visa and other entry requirements are complex. Make sure you’re aware of Israeli immigration policies before you travel. Allow extra time for increased security measures and checks at airports during Israeli holidays and during the peak summer tourist season. See Entry Requirements

There is a high threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.