Many travelers are unsure whether it is still safe to travel to Israel given that it is a well-liked vacation spot and a major hub for business travel. They also question how to leave the country should they decide to do so.
After Hamas militants launched an unexpected attack on the nation from Gaza, Israel proclaimed itself to be at war.
There are armed terrorists in the nation, and rockets have been fired into Israel, causing damage to places like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
According to health experts, the most recent death toll in Gaza is 704 Palestinians, and more over 900 Israelis, according to Israeli medical services. According to the UN, 187,000 Gazans are currently displaced.
Additionally, nine US individuals have been declared dead by authorities, while 10 British citizens are either missing or presumed dead.
Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) are now off-limits to travel, according to the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the affected area.
This calls for travel agencies with clients in the zone to swiftly bring them back and halt all upcoming journeys until the guidance is upgraded.
The FCDO now specifically warns against any travel to:
Ghajjar and the Sheba’a Farms in Gaza
East of Metula, includes the northern boundary of the town, and within 500 meters of the border with Lebanon (the “Blue Line”) and Syria (the “Alpha Line”)
the region that comprises the following near the Gaza border: the region south of Route 35 and west of Route 40 as far as Tlalim, except the city of Be’er Sheva; the region west of Be’er Sheva; and the region north of Route 211.
The FCDO also cautions that incidents have happened in Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Hadera, Jerusalem and the Old City (especially at and around Damascus Gate, Herod’s Gate, Lion’s Gate, and the Chain Gate), Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, the Jordan Valley, at Israeli checkpoints, close to settlement outposts, and near Palestinian refugee camps.
When visiting certain regions, you should take extra precaution and should only travel if absolutely necessary.
Similar advice is given by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which claims that any non-essential travel to Israel should be avoided because “ongoing attacks pose a significant security risk.”
The DFA advises travelers to avoid any trips to Southern Israel and to maintain using great caution both inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian area, including East Jerusalem.
According to the Israel Tourism Ministry, they are “monitoring the situation and committed to ensuring that all tourists visiting Israel are safe and informed.”
They have established a “tourist hotline” to assist with this.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is creating a tourist hotline via WhatsApp for tourists to be updated on the situation as it develops and will provide all necessary help to those who need it.
The phone number and email address for WhatsApp enquiries are +972-55-972-693 and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Visitors can also contact Home Front Command by WhatsApp and SMS at +972 (0) 52-9104104 or by dialing 104 for information and guidance in multiple languages.
You must confirm your government’s travel guidance to Israel before departing for your trip.
For instance, ordinary travel insurance coverage won’t cover you if you decide to visit Israel from the UK right now, when government counsel recommends against doing so.
Due to the ‘no-go’ travel warning, if you have a package holiday scheduled to Israel, you may cancel it and receive a full refund.
Tel Aviv international airport – the main travel center in the country – is still in operation, although many airlines have cancelled or redirected services.
Flights have been halted on US carriers United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines, as well as on European carriers Lufthansa, AirFrance, and Finland’s Finnair.
Flights to Tel Aviv were canceled by EasyJet on Sunday and Monday, and the airline has announced that it will change service hours in the coming days.
A spokeswoman for the airline stated that “any customers affected by cancellations are eligible for a refund, voucher, or a free transfer to a new flight.”
Wizz Air planes headed for Israel as the offensive started were diverted to Larnaca, the island of Cyprus’s principal airport. Until further notice, all flights to and from Tel Aviv have been canceled.
Flights were canceled by Portugal’s TAP on Monday, and the airline is providing refunds or free rescheduling.
El Al, an airline based in Israel, claims that it is following security force directives and that all flights are proceeding “as planned.”
The FCDO cautions that air and land borders between Israel and the OPTs may abruptly close.
Travelers from the UK are “strongly encouraged” to register with the FCDO.
“We can then communicate significant updates, such as details supporting your departure from the country. Every British citizen in your family or group must complete the form, the FCDO continued.
As long as you are able to leave Israel, your travel insurance will continue to protect you.
Before departing, make sure to verify with your airline and travel insurance. For more information, you are urged to contact Israeli Home Front Command at http://www.oref.org.il/en or (if you are in Israel) at (104).