Israel

Israel

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following provinces: HaDarom

The State of Israel is located in the Middle East between Egypt and Lebanon and on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel also borders Syria, Jordan and the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The population is approximately 7.5 million people.

The government of Israel is a parliamentary democracy. A president is chief of state elected by the Knesset and has mainly a ceremonial role. A prime minister is head of government.

Although the area was an ancient Hebrew kingdom and the birthplace of Christianity, Israel has been a country only since 1948. Since that time, Israel has fought a series of wars with neighbouring Arab states and has occupied territories, including the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, however, there has been only limited success resolving border disputes.

Israel is a developed country with a technologically advanced economy. The main financial center is Tel Aviv, and the main industrial center is Haifa. Israel is a major destination for travellers since the land has great religious importance and is considered holy. Although continually under threat of violence, Israel has such rigid security that travel is relatively safe.

Currency ILS: Shekel
Language Hebrew and Arabic
Capital Jerusalem
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Israel. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

West Nile Fever

Outbreaks of West Nile virus occur in Israel.

Hepatitis A

There is a low risk of hepatitis A in Israel.

Hepatitis B

There is a low risk of hepatitis B in Israel.

Typhoid Fever

There is a very low risk that unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in this country. However, the U.S. CDC reports that the risk of typhoid fever is confined to the West Bank in Gaza.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Israel.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Although the risk of hepatitis A is low, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Although the risk of hepatitis B is low, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

Although there is a low risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country, the vaccine is recommended for travellers who visit smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and stay with friends or relatives, especially in the West Bank in Gaza.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Israel.

None required.

Safety and Security in Israel

Emergency Numbers

100
101
102
03-5165382 Tourist Police

Personal Safety

Most visitors to Israel do not experience safety and security problems, however, the security situation can change rapidly at any time. Travellers are advised to carry their passports with them at all times and register with their embassy in Tel Aviv. Dual citizens who hold Israeli citizenship as well as another citizenship are required to show their Israeli documentation when exiting or entering Israel.

There is a high incidence of crime in Jerusalem, particularly in the Old City and at night. Travellers should travel in groups and dress conservatively.

Vehicle theft and theft on public beaches occurs often. Travellers are advised to keep their valuables out of sight and avoid wearing expensive clothing and jewellery.

Areas To Avoid

Travellers are advised to avoid regions bordering Lebanon. Tensions have subsided since a cessation of hostilities between Israeli and Hezbollah forces following conflict in 2006, however, there is still potential for future incidents.

Travellers are strongly advised to completely avoid travel to all regions surrounding the Gaza Strip and of the West Bank, excluding Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem due to the risk of rocket and mortar launches, gunfire and of ongoing military activity. The security situation is highly unpredictable and dangerous. There is a continuing threat to any traveller present in these areas of being caught in the crossfire of violence, as well as of being kidnapped in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin.

If it is absolutely necessary to go to these regions, travellers are recommended to exercise extreme caution at all times, monitor news reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Passports should be carried at all times and alternative travel arrangements should be ready in case of rapid deterioration in the security situation.

There are unmarked landmine fields in certain parts of the country, particularly in the West Bank and along Israel's borders. Travellers should not stray from roads and trails as a precaution.

Extreme Violence

In the past years, terrorist incidents have occurred in a variety of locations in major populated centers (including Tel Aviv, Eilat, Haifa, Beersheba, Netanya, and others), causing death and injuries. Incidents could be unpredictable and there is a strong risk that foreigners, although not directly targeted, could end up in the middle of highly dangerous situations.

Travellers visiting urban areas should exercise caution, stay informed of the present security situation, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities, especially during periods of religious holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan and Pesach (Passover).

Political Unrest

Large political gatherings and demonstrations occur frequently and should be avoided as they can become violent. Travellers should obey government checkpoints, which may be set up without warning.

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