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.

Thursday 2 November 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There’s a risk of demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. You should avoid any demonstrations and follow instructions of the local authorities.

The airline and tour operator Monarch went into administration on 2 October 2017. The repatriation flights for non-ATOL protected passengers have now ceased. You can find information and advice on flights, accommodation and reimbursement for expenses incurred on the dedicated website, or by calling the hotline on 0300 303 2800 (if calling from the UK) or +44 1753 330 330 (if calling from outside the UK).

If you need consular assistance above and beyond information on replacement flights or accommodation, please contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

The Israeli Parliament passed a law on 6 March 2017, which gives authority to deny entry to foreign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of Israel and/or settlements, or who belong to an organisation which has called for a boycott. Contact the Israeli embassy for further information. See Entry Requirements.

The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be 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 and Lion’s Gate areas) 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. You should avoid any demonstrations and follow instructions of local authorities.

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 have also been several violent incidents in the northern West Bank area (north of Tappuah). Individuals carrying weapons have been arrested in Nablus.

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

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places frequented by foreigners, and on public transport. See Terrorism

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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.