This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- 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
Sporadic indirect and small arms fire has occurred along Israel’s Syrian border without warning since 2012. There has been an increase in errant artillery, rocket and mortar fire from Syria in to Israel throughout the latter half of 2017. On several occasions the Israeli authorities closed parts of Route 98, due to the increase in fighting in Syria, especially by the Quneitra border crossing, which has been seized by Syrian rebel groups. If travelling in the area remain vigilant, follow advice from local authorities and stay informed of the security situation through the media and FCO travel advice.
On 10 February 2018, an unmanned aerial vehicle violated Israeli airspace, prompting a military response by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) against targets in Syria. During the response an IAF jet crashed in the Harduf area, as a result of Syrian Armed Forces anti aircraft fire. A number of anti aircraft missiles from Syria also landed in Israeli territory. Despite this escalation in violence, the incident is likely to be an isolated one. However, there remains a risk of further military activity in northern Israel and the occupied Golan. Exercise caution when travelling in these areas and consult FCO travel advice prior to departure.
Following President Trump’s announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6 December 2017, Palestinian factions have called for mass protests across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The security situation could quickly deteriorate, particularly around the Old City of Jerusalem. You should avoid all demonstrations across the West Bank and follow the advice of local police authorities.
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
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