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Israel Travel Information

Israel Travel InformationIn connection with the outbreak of coronavirus (covid-19), Israeli authorities have decided that only foreign nationals with a residence permit in Israel will be able to enter the country. The decision is valid from March 18. See more in the section on health further down in the article.

Safety

Travelers in Israel and Palestine should familiarize themselves with the Foreign Travel Advisory Board, which is regularly evaluated. It should be noted that the situation in the area is unstable and the security situation can change rapidly.

The level of security has been raised in Israel, both in the areas near the Gaza Strip and at Golan. Travelers are encouraged to exercise caution in the border areas against Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

In the past year, there have been a significant number of rocket attacks in the area bordering the Gaza Strip, but also in central parts of Israel. Rocket attacks have also occurred in the border areas at Golan Heights and toward Egypt. All travelers are encouraged to follow the news, listen to advice and directions from local authorities and seek cover in safe rooms if you hear a siren.

See also travel information for Palestine for the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Countryaah: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

There have also been both planned and spontaneous demonstrations and clashes in several places between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. If demonstrations and violent clashes erupt, travelers should leave the place immediately. Where opportunities to leave the area are limited, shops or restaurants can be used as temporary shelters. In Jerusalem, special caution should be exercised in the area around the Old City, where there has been a clash between Palestinians and Israeli police and security forces.

The websites of the Israeli Civil Defense (The Home Front Command) contain detailed, security-related instructions.

In recent years, terrorist attacks have hit places where larger groups gather and tourists travel, such as shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, buses and bus stations. There have been several knife attacks on the street and on buses in Israeli cities that have hit random passers-by. New attacks cannot be ruled out. Travelers are therefore requested to take reasonable precautions and exercise special care at such gathering places. Travelers are advised to exercise general caution, take normal precautions and stay away from demonstrations and larger gatherings.

Under normal conditions most journeys take place without problems. Crime is relatively low in both Israel and Palestine. Still, it is important to look after valuables such as money, passports, jewelry and photo equipment.

Remember to take out travel insurance before embarking on travel.

Travelers to Israel and Palestine are encouraged to register at reiseregistrering.no. This will make it easier for Norwegian authorities to contact Norwegians in the area in the event of a crisis.

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Norwegian citizens receive a free tourist visa (B2) for a period of up to three months upon entry into Israel. Therefore, no advance visa is required. Questions about work permits, student visas etc. must be addressed to the Israeli Embassy in Oslo or the Ministry of the Interior in Jerusalem. An application can be made for a visa to be renewed at the Ministry of the Interior.

Israel requires a passport to be valid for a minimum of six months after the scheduled departure date. Travelers with one-way ticket may be rejected by the airline or by Israeli immigration authorities.

Passports are no longer stamped upon entry into Israel. Upon arrival, you will receive a Border Control Entry Permit (a paper the size of a credit card), printed B2 (tourist visa), arrival date, expiry date and personal details. This card serves as proof of legal entry and residence in the country and should be carefully watched. Especially for travelers crossing in and out of the West Bank, loss of cards can create problems. A new card is not issued, but you can contact the Ministry of the Interior to request a printout. Tourists must, among other things, present a valid tourist visa to avoid VAT on hotel, car rental etc.

When entering and leaving, travelers must expect questions from Israeli immigration authorities and security personnel about their stay in Israel. If you have a stamp in the passport from the country of Israel, you do not have diplomatic relations with, this can lead to more thorough questioning. This is especially true of countries such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon. If you have any kind of confirmation or documentation of what you have done in these countries, such as study or job, you may want to bring this with you. People born in an Arab country, believed to be Arabs or Muslims, have a Middle Eastern background or been involved in activist or missionary activities, are often subjected to thorough interrogation on entry and exit. Checking of sheets and backgrounds is sometimes carried out.

The embassy encourages all travelers to remain calm and answer questions from security personnel truthfully. Attempting to oppose security checks or refusing to respond to interrogation could result in being denied entry. This is therefore not advisable.

It seems that travelers are rejected for security reasons without giving any further explanation. Travelers who are denied entry at Ben Gurion Airport will be placed in custody before normally returning with the first departure with the same airline. However, this can take a while, and the conditions in which one is kept are perceived by most as miserable.

In March 2017, Knesset passed an addendum to the Entry Law, which opens, among other things, to prevent entry into Israel and Palestine for persons considered to be active in the boycott (BDS) movement. In January 2018, Israeli authorities published a list of organizations whose leaders and leading activists could be denied entry into Israel because of support for the BDS movement. A Norwegian organization is on this list.

Persons who have previously been denied entry, have remained in Israel for longer than the duration of the visa or have otherwise violated the conditions of stay during previous visits, may be denied entry again. These should contact the Israeli Embassy in Oslo before attempting to travel to Israel again. When leaving, all luggage is checked and sometimes checked manually. Electronic equipment, e.g. cameras and laptops, can be checked thoroughly and the contents can be reviewed by security personnel. It seems that travelers are asked to enter passwords for laptops, and equipment and assets have been confiscated. From experience, travelers who have visited Palestine have been subjected to more detailed interrogations by Israeli security personnel.

Travelers who are held back by Israeli security personnel upon entry or exit to/from Israel or at checkpoints, in addition to what one must expect in accordance with normal security check routines, are advised to contact the Tel Aviv Embassy at +972 (0) 3740 1900.

Israeli authorities control entry to Palestine. There have been cases where travelers through the Allenby Bridge have been labeled "Palestinian Authority only" in the passport, which makes it impossible to enter Jerusalem and Israel

Israeli authorities have not released information on the policies and procedures applicable to travelers to Palestine, including for staff of international organizations, students and volunteers. Norwegians who plan longer study or work stays in Palestine are advised to contact the Representation Office at an early date.

Travelers who have been allowed to enter Israel can, when the security situation permits, move relatively freely in the West Bank. For more information see travel information about Palestine here.

Israeli authorities regard Norwegian citizens who also hold or claim Israeli citizenship as Israeli citizens, subject to Israeli law. Norwegian citizens with Israeli citizenship must therefore travel in and out of Israel on their Israeli passport. For example, a child born in Norway with an Israeli parent would be considered an Israeli citizen. Contact the Israeli Ministry of the Interior or the Israeli Embassy in Oslo for more information.

Palestinians registered in the Palestinian registry (the population registry) do not, according to Israeli authorities, be allowed to enter Israel without a special permit ("permit"). This applies to anyone who is registered in the personal register regardless of whether they live in or outside Palestine or have citizenship in Norway or other countries. Israeli authorities state that persons registered in the Palestinian Personal Register will not be able to enter Israel via Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv or over Erez from Gaza. It is further stated that these must enter the West Bank from Jordan through the Allenby Bridge crossing. These rules apply regardless of citizenship and travel documents from other countries. The rules make some exceptions for special travel purposes.

Israeli authorities may require persons registered in the Palestinian Register to travel on Palestinian IDs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of cases where Norwegian citizens without Palestinian IDs have been denied entry and exit when they have only had a Norwegian passport.

For further information or questions about the rules of entry, the Israeli Embassy in Oslo should be contacted. Information on customs regulations is available from the Israeli customs (in the menu on the left, under the information guides, there is a guide for tourists).

International airports

  • Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV)
  • Haifa Airport (HFA)
  • Ramon International Airport (ETM)

Travel from Israel to neighboring countries

Israel has peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and it is possible to travel to
Israel from these countries. It is not possible to cross the border from Syria or
Lebanon to Israel. See travel information for these countries via this link.

International border crossings - Jordan

  • Yitzhak Rabin Terminal/Wadi al-'Arabah Terminalin the south (near Eilat)
  • Sheikh Hussein Bridge/Jordan River Bridgein the North (near Beit Shean)
  • Allenby Bridge/King Hussein Bridge

When leaving Israel through the Allenby Bridge, a Jordanian visa must be obtained in advance. The other border crossings issue visas on the spot. Private cars cannot cross Allenby, but must cross the north or south border crossings. Allenby Bridge/King Hussein Bridge is the only border crossing that can be used by people of Palestinian origin. This border crossing cannot be used by Israeli citizens. See the border crossing website for up - to-date information on procedures, opening hours and departure fees.

International border crossings In connection with the outbreak of coronavirus, the Israeli authorities have decided on March 18 that only foreign nationals with a residence permit will be able to enter the country. For resident Norwegian citizens with a residence permit, the home quarantine is required in a private home (not a hotel or similar). Israeli authorities have also put in place measures that restrict traffic in the public space, and one should limit trips out of the home to the essentials. Israeli police will enforce all quarantine regulations and restrictions on forsamlinger.ganger - Egypt

  • Taba Border Crossingbetween Taba and Eilat. Read about special rules for crossing Taba by car here.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): In connection with the outbreak of coronavirus, on March 18, Israeli authorities decided that only foreign nationals with a residence permit could enter the country. For resident Norwegian citizens with a residence permit, the home quarantine is required in a private home (not a hotel or similar). Israeli authorities have also put in place measures that restrict traffic in the public space, and one should limit trips out of the home to the essentials. Israeli police will enforce all quarantine regulations and restrictions on assemblies.

All travelers are asked to follow information and directions from the Israeli authorities, or contact the Israeli Embassy in Oslo. The measures are temporary, and the Israeli authorities can change these at short notice. For information related to covid-19 in Palestine, see travel information for Palestine.

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There have been outbreaks of measles in Israel, most recently an outbreak that started in 2018. The health authorities have initiated vaccination measures. Read more about travel advice and the disease in the infection guide's chapter on measles.

Vaccination is recommended before traveling to countries with outbreaks of polio. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that polio virus is a threat to international public health. The reason is the increase in the number of polio (poliomyelitis) cases in several continents last year. Polio is a disease that can be eradicated with vaccine because the virus is only found in humans.

To prevent the spread of polio , Norwegian health authorities provide travel advice on polio vaccination before stays in several countries, and especially when staying for more than four weeks.

Before departure one must also have documentation on vaccination. It is conceivable that some countries will conduct such documentation and require new vaccination if documentation on the International Vaccination Card (WHO) is missing. Health personnel can order the card from the publication page of the Institute of Public Health.

The WHO believes that the situation in these countries poses a risk of exporting and spreading polio internationally: Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria. Countries with less local polio outbreaks such as Afghanistan, Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria are also advised to follow WHO's vaccination advice.

See more health related information for travelers on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Hospitals in Israel generally maintain a high standard. The price level of health services is higher than in Norway. Hospitals will demand payment for treatment and may take legal action to prevent leaving until the bill is paid. It is therefore recommended to have insurance taken before departure.

The hospitals in Palestine are of varying standards, but in most cases it will soon be possible to go to an Israeli hospital.

Travelers can find information on emergency services and 24-hour pharmacies in Israel in the English-language newspaper Jerusalem Post and the English edition of Ha'aretz.

The sanitary conditions are generally very good in Israel. Eating salads usually does not cause any problems. Tap water can be drunk, but quality can vary.

Israel has a warm and sunny climate and it is important to use sunscreen with a sufficiently high sun factor to protect the skin. It is also important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Practical information

The current in Israel is at 220 volts. There are good connections for GSM mobile phones throughout Israel

The most common western credit and debit cards can be used in restaurants, shops etc. throughout Israel and also for withdrawing local currency from ATMs. In some ATMs you may experience problems with withdrawing cash. In banking systems, Israel is categorized as Asia and those who have a regional barrier to Asia must therefore remember to remove it in order to withdraw cash. Credit cards are available in the largest Palestinian cities in the West Bank, but otherwise it is recommended to bring cash. Please note that taxis in Israel do not generally accept credit cards as a means of payment.

During the Sabbath from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, some restaurants and shops in Israel are closed, and public transport is limited. Friday is the holiday of Muslims, and most Palestinian stores close early or are closed all day.

The dates of the national holidays vary on both Israeli and Palestinian side. The most important Jewish holidays in the spring are Pesach, Independence Day and Jewish Pentecost. In the autumn, the most important holidays are Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur and Succot. Ramadan is the Moslem fasting period of 30 days which concludes with ´d al-fitr, the largest public holiday in the Muslim calendar.

The default time zone for Israel is GMT +2. In the summer, Daylight saving time is introduced and the time zone is GMT +3. Israel is therefore usually one hour ahead of Norway.

Emergency telephone numbers in Israel: Police 100, Ambulance 101, Fire: 102

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