Palestine has declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew as a result of the covid-19 virus. The West Bank and Gaza are closed for passage and it is no longer possible to leave. For more information about coronavirus, see the section Health.
Travelers in Israel and Palestine should familiarize themselves with the Foreign Travel Advisory Board (see above), which is regularly evaluated.
It should be noted that the situation in the area is unstable and that safety conditions can change rapidly. Travelers are requested to exercise caution when traveling in the West Bank.
The US peace plan was announced on January 28, and this has led to protests at various locations in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Norwegian citizens in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are advised to act cautiously and avoid demonstrations and/or large crowds. Visitors are also encouraged to keep up to date on developments through the media and listen to local authorities’ advice and directions.
There are frequent, and sometimes massive, rocket attacks to and from Gaza. The situation is unpredictable and can escalate. Such attacks can occur with minimal opportunity for advance notice. Reference is made to the Foreign Travel Advisory Board for Palestine (above), which advises against all travel to or stay in Gaza, and to travel advice/travel information for Israel.
In Hebron, there has been an increase in clashes and demonstrations between settlers and the civilian population. Parts of the Old City of Hebron have been declared a closed military zone.
There is an increase in demonstrations and spontaneous protests in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. In connection with local festivals and political announcements, riots are expected in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. This can also mean that the exits from the Old Town are closed and the opportunities to leave the area are limited. If such a situation arises, stores or restaurants can be used as temporary shelters. In addition, the roads leading to the Old Town will be closed for periods, and accessibility is limited.
Incidentally, West Bank urban centers are particularly at risk, checkpoints and Israeli checkpoints around the West Bank, as well as the Old City and nearby Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Violent clashes and escalations cannot be ruled out. between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
- Countryaah: East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.
There is growing unrest as well as military presence at settlements and checkpoints across the West Bank, and especially in the areas around Ramallah. The situation can change very quickly, and travelers in such situations should leave the place immediately. Particular caution should be exercised at major intersections along the main road on the West Bank.
The representative office in Al Ram (Palestine) or the embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel) can also be contacted for advice or if assistance is needed.
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. If driving a car, care must be taken. The driving style is sometimes aggressive and the speed high. Please note in which areas the insurance is valid. Details of this are available from the rental companies.
Remember to take out travel insurance before embarking on travel.
Travelers 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.
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.
Entry to Palestine: We note the current travel advice for Palestine (see above).
One cannot travel to Palestine without being controlled by Israeli authorities. The border between Egypt and Gaza is in reality closed. The Norwegian authorities have extremely limited opportunities to assist the Norwegian consular in Gaza. Reference is made to travel information about Israel regarding information about entering Israel.
Travelers who have been allowed to enter Israel can, when the security situation permits, move relatively freely in the West Bank. Israeli authorities control entry to Palestine, and travelers can be denied entry. There have also been cases where travelers have been labeled “Palestinian Authority only” in the passport, which prohibits traffic in Israel and Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have not made publicly available information about the policies and procedures applicable to travelers to Palestine, including employees of international organizations, students and volunteers.
Transitions in and out of Gaza have been largely closed since June 2007. Entry from Israeli territory, through the Erez border crossing, requires special coordination with Israeli authorities. The entry permit criteria are very strict, and only persons affiliated with organizations approved by the Israeli authorities and who have a clear humanitarian purpose for the visit will be eligible for entry.
Those wishing to leave Gaza through Israel and Jordan to fly from Amman must apply for Gaza exit permit and “Coordination” for the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Israel.
In addition, they must apply for a “No Objection Letter” from the Jordanian authorities to travel in transit through Jordan. In recent times, we have seen many cases of citizens not being granted such a “No Objection Letter” and getting stuck in Gaza. The Norwegian authorities do not have the opportunity to assist in such cases.
Please note that procedures may change without the knowledge of the representative office. Applicants are therefore encouraged to check this information with the relevant authorities.
Entry from Egypt, through the Rafah border crossing, requires coordination with the Egyptian authorities and the de facto authorities in Gaza. Note that Egypt often closes the border, sometimes for extended periods. Norwegian citizens who enter Gaza through Rafah will not be able to leave Gaza through Erez (Israel). There are long waiting lists to get coordination out of Gaza through Rafah. If, despite the Travel Council, one chooses to enter Gaza through Rafah, considerable delays will have to be expected upon departure and one cannot expect departure at the desired time. Over the past year, we have learned that for some people it has taken months to leave Gaza via Rafah. Norwegian authorities have no opportunity to assist with trips via Rafah.
International border crossings between Israel and Jordan:
- Yitzhak Rabin Terminal/ Wadi al-‘Arabah Terminal in 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.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of how the spread of the virus is developing in Palestine and how this is affecting the situation. Travelers are encouraged to follow the Infection Protection Council prepared by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as well as local authorities.
Palestinian authorities have imposed temporary restrictions on travelers, but Israeli authorities are controlling entry into Palestine. Reference is made to travel information for Israel regarding information on entry into and movement restrictions in Israel that have recently been further tightened.
Palestine has introduced state of emergency and curfew. This means that hotels in the West Bank do not receive guests and all tourist destinations and archaeological sites are closed. Movement restrictions have been imposed internally between West Bank cities and between Palestine and Israel. Therefore, it is no longer possible to travel through Israel or Jordan. The border between Gaza and Egypt is also closed, as well as the border with Israel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice, which discourages all travel to or stay in Gaza, still applies.
You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD’s answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.
See 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 be possible in a short time 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 both Israel and Palestine. Eating salads usually does not cause any problems. Tap water can be drunk in most places, but the quality can vary.
Palestine 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.
The most common western credit and debit cards can be used in the largest cities in Palestine at restaurants, shops, etc. and also for withdrawing local currency from ATMs. It is otherwise recommended to bring cash. Israeli shekel (NIS) is a viable currency in Palestine. Please note that taxis in Palestine do not accept credit cards as a means of payment.
Travelers should always carry a passport, as Israeli security authorities regularly check identity cards in Palestine. When traveling on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, travelers cross military checkpoints, where passports and valid visas must be presented. Experience can take a long time to get through some checkpoints. Travelers who are stopped by Israeli security personnel upon entering Israel or Palestine or at checkpoints are advised to contact the Tel Aviv Embassy immediately on tel. +972 (0) 3744 1490 during office hours Monday-Friday (08.30-16, Friday to 15) or by phone +972 (0) 5445 81906 outside of office hours.
The official language of Palestine is Arabic, but many Palestinians also speak English. Friday is the holiday of Muslims, and most Palestinian stores close early or are closed all day.
The dates of the national holidays vary in Palestine. Ramadan is the Moslem fasting period of 30 days that ends with ´¨©d al-fitr, and the exact dates depend on the lunar phase.
The default time zone for Palestine is GMT +2. In summer, summer time is introduced and the time zone is then GMT +3. Palestine is therefore usually one hour ahead of Norway.
The current is 220 volts. There are good connections for GSM mobile phones throughout Israel and Palestine.
Emergency telephone numbers in Israel: Police – 100, ambulance – 101, fire – 102.