Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

International Travel

English

Learn About Your Destination

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza

Israel, the West Bank and Gaza
Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza
See Individual Summaries and advisory levels below for information on your specific travel destination.

Updated with information on travel restrictions for U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Gaza due to terrorism and armed conflict

Reconsider Travel To:

  • Israel due to terrorism and civil unrest
  • West Bank due to terrorism and civil unrest

Country Summary: Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza without warning.

Some areas have increased risk. Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Israel and the West Bank, and Gaza.

Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Check the most recent Alerts at the Embassy website for the latest information on travel in all of these areas. 
  • Maintain a high degree of situational awareness and exercise caution at all times, especially at checkpoints and other areas with a significant presence of security forces.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials.
  • Beware of and report suspicious activities, including unattended items, to local police.
  • Learn the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened shelter. Download the Home Front Command Red Alert application for mobile devices (available on devices within Israel) to receive real time alerts for rocket attacks.
  • Obtain comprehensive travel medical insurance that includes medical evacuation prior to travel. Most travel insurance packages do not cover mental health related illnesses/care. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Gaza – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to terrorism and armed conflict.

The U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Gaza as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling there. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are conducting large-scale military operations in Gaza against Hamas, a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization, which was responsible for the October 7 attack on Israel. As a result of the armed conflict, the security environment within Gaza and on its borders is extremely dangerous and volatile. The pedestrian crossing between Gaza and Israel was damaged on October 7 and remains closed, and the pedestrian crossing between Egypt and Gaza may close without advance notice depending on the security situation. There are sporadic telecommunication and internet outages within Gaza further inhibiting the ability of residents to obtain information.

Visit our website for Travel to High Risk Areas.

If you decide to travel to Gaza:

  • Be prepared for an indefinite stay as the crossings between Gaza with Israel and Egypt can close without advance notice and for long periods during times of unrest and armed conflict.
  • Have a plan for entering and departing Gaza that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Households with infants and young children should plan for food and supplies, such as diapers and wipes, formula or baby food, and a change of clothing.
  • If you take medication, make sure to have at least five days’ worth at any given time – if you can, we encourage enough for two weeks beyond your scheduled trip and have a copy of your prescriptions handy.
  • If you use assistive or medical devices that require a power supply, be sure to find backup power or other ways that will sustain your device or equipment during a power outage.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.

Please be sure to visit our website for How to Prepare for a Crisis for information that may be helpful.

Israel – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to terrorism and civil unrest.

The security situation remains unpredictable, and U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as security incidents, including mortar and rocket fire, often take place without warning.

U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from personal travel to the following locations:

  • Within seven miles of the Gaza demarcation line, as well as the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon;
  • Within 2.5 miles of the Lebanese and Syrian borders; and
  • Within 1.5 miles of the Israel-Egypt border.

Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility, with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

West Bank – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to terrorism and civil unrest.

U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from all personal travel to the West Bank, except:

  • U.S. government employees can use Routes 1, 90, and 443 at any time. 
  • U.S. government employees are permitted personal travel to Jericho. 
  • U.S. government employees are permitted daylight travel to: Inn of the Good Samaritan, An-Nabi Musa, Wadi Qelt Nature Preserve, and St. George’s Monastery along Route 1; and Qumran, Kalia Beach, St. Gerasimos/Khogla Monastery, Al Auju, and Qasr al-Yaud baptismal site along Route 90. 
  • Effective June 24, 2024, personal travel is permitted for all U.S. government employees and their family members to Bethlehem, including Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, during daylight hours. Given continued closures of checkpoints throughout the West Bank, the only permitted and accessible route into Bethlehem for U.S. government employees and their family members is through Checkpoint 300. This is provided for your information as you make your own security plans.

Over the past few months, there has been an increase in settler violence, Israeli military operations, and terrorist attacks.

Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

Visit our website for Travel to High Risk Areas.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


No minimum requirement, but your authorized stay will not exceed the validity remaining on your passport and airlines may deny boarding if a traveler has fewer than six months validity on his or her passport.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


1 page (although passports are normally not stamped upon entry).

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays of 90 days or fewer until August 1, 2024. Beginning August 1, 2024, visa or Electronic Travel Authorization.(ETA-IL) will be required. Please see below for detailed information about entry, exit and visa requirements.

VACCINATIONS:


None.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


You must declare if you are carrying 50,000 shekels or more (or the equivalent) when entering or exiting Israel by air and 12,000 shekels (or the equivalent) if entering or exiting by land.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


You must declare if you are carrying 50,000 shekels or more (or the equivalent) when entering or exiting Israel by air and 12,000 shekels (or the equivalent) if entering or exiting by land.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem 
14 David Flusser Street 
Jerusalem 93392 
Telephone: + (972) (2) 630-4000 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (972) (2) 622-7230 
Email:JerusalemACS@state.gov

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza (including the Erez Crossing), and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.

U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs
18 Agron Road
Jerusalem 9419003
Telephone:
+ (972) (2) 630-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (972) (2) 622-7230
Email:JerusalemACS@state.gov

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon Street 
Tel Aviv Israel 63903 
Telephone: + (972) (3) 519-7575 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (972) (3) 519-7551 
Email:TelAvivACS@state.gov

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv for information and assistance in Israel outside of Jerusalem, and the northern (Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Yitzhak Rabin) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt.

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Israel for information on U.S.-Israel relations.

 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of Israel administers immigration and security controls at its international land crossings with Jordan (into both the West Bank and Israel), Egypt (at the Taba crossing near Eilat), and at Israel’s airports and seaports. A separate network of security checkpoints and crossings operated by Israeli authorities regulates the movement of people and goods between Israel and the West Bank, and between Israel and Gaza.

The U.S. government seeks equal treatment and freedom of travel for all U.S. citizens regardless of national origin, religion, or ethnicity. All persons seeking to enter or depart Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza are subject to immigration and security screening, possibly including prolonged questioning and physical searches, and may be denied entry or exit consistent with the uniform application of Israeli law. Persons who are denied entry have the right to an immigration court hearing to contest the denial, but they will be detained for the duration of the proceedings. Specific questions about your individual circumstances should be directed to your closest Israeli Embassy or Consulate.

When traveling into Israel, please make sure you have proper travel documentation before arrival in Israel. 

1. Do I need a visa to enter Israel if I normally live in the United States?

Until August 1, 2024, U.S. citizens may use their U.S. passport to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, including U.S. citizens transiting Israel to and from the West Bank.

Starting August 1, 2024, U.S. citizens must have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) or a visa to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays up to 90 days; an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) application will cost 25 shekels..  From  June 1, 2024 to uly 31, 2024, U.S. citizens can submit an ETA-IL application for no fee during a voluntary, pilot phase.

For more information, please contact your nearest Israeli Embassy or consulate and consult this Israeli government webpage: Reciprocal Privileges for U.S. Citizens at Border Control.

2. Do I need a visa to enter the West Bank if I am visiting the West Bank and normally live in the United States?

Until August 1, 2024, U.S. citizens who are not West Bank residents can use their U.S. passport to enter the West Bank for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. For more information, visit this Israeli government webpage: Entry of Palestinian-American Tourists into Israel.

Starting August 1, 2024,  U.S. citizens must have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) or a visa to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays up to 90 days; an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) application will cost 25 shekels.  From June 1, 2024 to July 31, 2024, U.S. citizens can submit an ETA-IL application for no fee during a voluntary, pilot phase.

U.S. citizens who are not Palestinian Authority (PA) ID/passport holders and who wish to study, teach, research, work, or volunteer in the West Bank should consult the Israeli government’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) regulations on entry into the West Bank. U.S. citizens who are engaged or married to West Bank residents and wish to remain in the West Bank should also consult these regulations. Questions regarding these regulations can be directed to COGAT by email at inquiries@cogat.gov.il or by phone at +972-3-697-7577.

3. Do I need a visa to enter Israel if I normally live in the West Bank?

U.S. citizens who are also residents of the West Bank can either apply for a permit to enter Israel from the Government of Israel’s COGAT or apply for a visa to enter Israel at Allenby Bridge in order to transit through the West Bank to Israel for up to 90 days. For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry-Exit Information: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Starting August 1, 2024, U.S. citizens must have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) or a visa to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays up to 90 days; an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) application will cost 25 shekels. From June 1, 2024 to July 31, 2024, U.S. citizens can submit an ETA-IL application for no fee during a voluntary, pilot phase.

4. Do I need a visa to enter Gaza through Israel if I normally live in the United States?

Please see the Travel Advisory before traveling to Gaza. Gaza is Level 4 – Do Not Travel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are conducting large-scale military operations in Gaza against Hamas, a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization. As a result of the armed conflict, the security environment within Gaza and on its borders is extremely dangerous and volatile. We remind all U.S. citizens seeking to travel to Gaza that the U.S. government is unable to provide any routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Gaza. Given the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, U.S. citizens cannot enter Gaza from Israel.

5. Can U.S. citizens registered as residents of Gaza enter or transit Israel?

U.S. citizens who are also listed on the Palestinian Population registry for Gaza may use their U.S. passport to apply for entry into Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, including transiting Israel to and from the West Bank (but not to transit to Gaza). 

For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry of Palestinian-American Tourists into Israel

Starting August 1, 2024, U.S. citizen must have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) or a visa to enter Israel , for business or tourism purposes for stays up to 90 days; an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA-IL) application will cost 25 shekels. From June 1, 2024 to July 31, 2024, U.S. citizens can submit an ETA-IL application for no fee during a voluntary, pilot phase.

6. What if I am denied entry?

U.S. citizens should immediately report any denial of entry or harassment or discriminatory treatment by border officials to the American Citizens Services (ACS) unit of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv.

Please note that the decision to admit or deny a traveler admission to Israel is entirely made by the State of Israel. The U.S. Embassy does not control this process and cannot intervene on an individual’s behalf. However, U.S. citizens who are denied entry into Israel or the West Bank should receive a written explanation from Israeli authorities.

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has continued to deny entry into Israel and the West Bank to some foreign nationals (including U.S. citizens) affiliated with certain political and non-governmental organizations that the Government of Israel views as anti-Israel. Participation in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)-related activities is one of the considerations Israeli authorities consider when deciding whether to refuse entry to individuals into Israel and the West Bank.

In addition to contacting the U.S. Embassy, if you were the subject of mistreatment or harassment by Israeli authorities upon entry to or exit from Israel, you may also email TZ@piba.gov.il to file a complaint with the Israeli authorities. If the mistreatment or harassment occurred at a check point to the West Bank you may email inquiries@cogat.gov.il to file a complaint.

7. What if I’m an Israeli citizen?

Individuals with Israeli citizenship, regardless of other nationality, including U.S. citizenship, must enter and depart Israel using their Israeli passports in accordance with Israeli law. Due to a passport backlog, Israeli citizens are temporarily allowed to enter and depart Israel on non-Israeli passports until December 31, 2024. Israeli citizens are prohibited from using the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing. They are also prohibited from entering Gaza and are generally prohibited from traveling to parts of the West Bank under PA control (Area A), to include Bethlehem and Jericho.

Further information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations can be found on our website at travel.state.gov.

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Tourism infrastructure
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

Please view the current Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for detailed information regarding the terrorism threat in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Please view the current Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for detailed information regarding the terrorism threat in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Mortar and Rocket Fire: In the event of mortar or rocket fire, a “red alert” siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real. Follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. U.S. government personnel and their family members may be restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity, sirens, and/or the opening of bomb shelters. For additional information on appropriate action to take upon hearing a siren or explosion, see the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command website (available on devices within Israel) or view the Preparedness Information. U.S. citizens may also wish to download the free Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command application on Android or Apple devices to receive real-time security and safety alerts. Free commercial applications, such as Red Alert: Israel, are also available.

Crime: The crime rate is moderate in Israel and the West Bank. Parked vehicle break-ins are common at public beach areas, national parks, and other tourist sites. Vehicle theft also remains a problem. U.S. citizens should not leave their valuables (including passports) unattended in parked vehicles, on the beach, or unsecured in hotels. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings in tourist areas and watch for crimes of opportunity, such as pickpockets.  The crime rate in Gaza is now unknown given the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.

For additional information, read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Crime and Safety Report for Israel.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable. Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Technology Usage Abroad: Mobiles Devices are vulnerable to compromise, theft, and physical damage anywhere in the world. Best practices include making sure all software (operating system and apps) are updated prior to traveling abroad and using virtual private network and encrypted voice over IP (VoIP) applications if possible while abroad. Make sure that all VPN/VoIP are reputable, and U.S. based. Do not connect to unknown open Wi-Fi.

GPS navigation applications (apps) can help you get around in a foreign country. Prior to using a GPS app make sure you research the route to make sure it is safe. A GPS navigation app may give you the shortest route without accounting for the safety of that route.

Be cautious of using dating apps/online dating websites abroad as U.S. citizens can be targeted by scammers. Make sure to inform your friends and family of your whereabouts, meet at a well-known public location, and do not consume suspicious food or drinks. Avoid traveling alone to bars or nightclubs.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police. The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Israel and the West Bank is 100 for police, 101 for an ambulance, and 102 for the fire department.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv for assistance. You can reach U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv at the contact information provided above. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide information on possible Government of Israel assistance to victims of crime:
  • Provide information on Government of Israel assistance to victims of terrorist acts (contact the National Insurance Institute for more information)
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact local police and/or the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (#118 from a local cell phone or via text at +972-50-227-0018) but may also contact U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv to report it.

Tourism:The tourism industry is generally regulated in Israel and the West Bank. Rules with regards to general practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and trained staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to the local laws of the locations you visit or reside in. Foreign laws and legal systems can be significantly different from those of the United States. If you violate Israeli or Palestinian Authority (PA) laws, even unknowingly, being a U.S. citizen will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. The Israeli government will treat dual U.S-Israeli citizens as Israeli citizens, and the Palestinian Authority will treat dual U.S.-PA passport holders as PA "citizens”– regardless of whether they entered Israel or PA-administered area on a U.S. passport.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking illegal drugs in Israel and PA-administered areas are severe and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Individuals expressing views, including on social media, which the Government of Israel considers incitement to violence or hate speech may face criminal penalties, even if the the substance and manner in which those views are expressed would be lawful in the United States. PA security officials have also arrested Palestinians who posted criticism of the PA and PA leadership online. In Gaza, individuals publicly criticizing authorities risk reprisal by Hamas, including arrest, interrogation, seizure of property, and harassment.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrests and Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or Branch Office Tel Aviv immediately. See our website on arrest or detention of a U.S. citizen abroad for further information. While the U.S. Embassy may not recommend a particular foreign attorney, the embassy website has the names of several attorneys who have identified themselves as willing to assist U.S. citizen clients. Please note that inclusion on this list in no way represents an endorsement of services by the Department or the U.S. government. 

Arrests and Arrest Notification by Israel: 

  • The Government of Israel is required by a bilateral treaty and customary international law to promptly notify the U.S. Embassy when a U.S. citizen is arrested in Israel to inform them that if the citizen is a U.S. citizen and requests that the U.S. Embassy be notified and makes such a request. In case of arrest or detention, U.S. citizens should promptly identify themselves as such to the arresting authorities and request that the authorities notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. There are credible reports that U.S. citizens have been mistreated by Israeli security forces during their arrest and interrogation.
  • Some youths over the age of 12 have been tried as adults; youths over the age of 14 can be imprisoned. 
  • Arrestees have also reported pressure to sign documents in Hebrew that they do not understand.
  • U.S. citizens arrested in Israel for criminal or security offenses are entitled to legal representation provided by the Government of Israel. U.S. citizens arrested by Israeli authorities for security offenses may be prevented from communicating with lawyers, family members, or consular officers for lengthy periods. Even after notification, consular access to the arrested individual may be delayed for days to several weeks. Under Israeli law, individuals detained for security offenses may be held for up to six months without charges.

Arrests and Arrest Notification by the Palestinian Authority (PA):

  • In case of arrest or detention, U.S. citizens should promptly identify themselves as such to the arresting authorities and should request that the U.S. Embassy be notified immediately. Individuals arrested by PA security forces in the West Bank for security offenses may be prohibited from communicating with lawyers, family members, or consular officers for lengthy periods. In addition, they may be held in custody for long periods without formal charges or before being brought before a judge for an arrest extension. The PA often does not notify the U.S. Embassy of such arrests, and consular access to arrestees is often delayed. There are credible reports that arrested individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been mistreated by PA security forces during their arrest and interrogation.

Gaza: Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, they have dominated security matters in Gaza, but this control has been degraded by Israel’s ongoing military operations against Hamas. The U.S. government is severely limited in what it can do to assist those detained in Gaza. In case of arrest or detention by Israeli security forces in Gaza, U.S. citizens should promptly identify themselves as such to the arresting authorities and should request that the U.S. Embassy be notified immediately.

Israeli Court Jurisdiction: Military, civil and religious courts in Israel actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including nonresidents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims and matters against them are resolved. Israel's religious courts exercise jurisdiction over all citizens and residents of Israel in cases of marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support. U.S. citizens, including those without Israeli citizenship, may be subject to involuntary and prolonged stays (and even imprisonment) in Israel if a case is filed against them in a religious court, even if their marriage took place in the United States, and regardless of whether their spouse is present in Israel. The U.S. Embassy is unable to cancel the debt of a U.S. citizen or guarantee their departure from Israel when they face a bar from leaving the country until debts are resolved. 
 
Purchases of Property: U.S. citizens should always seek legal advice before buying or leasing property in the West Bank and Gaza. Please see the most recent Investment Climate Statement for the West Bank and Gaza for additional information on property rights.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may be illegal according to the local laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods also may pose significant risks to consumer health and safety. You may be subject to fines and/or have to give up counterfeit and pirated goods if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website and U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

International Volunteers:

LGBTQI+ Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) events in Israel. Israeli anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQI+ individuals. Acceptance and tolerance of LGBQTI+ people vary throughout the country and from neighborhood to neighborhood. As of August 2014, the Law of Return allows that same-sex spouses of Jews immigrating to Israel – known as “making Aliyah” – are eligible to make Aliyah with their spouses and receive Israeli citizenship. 
 
The legal systems in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are based on the 1960 Jordanian penal code which prohibits consensual same-sex sexual activity. However, the PA has not prosecuted individuals suspected of such activity. Societal discrimination, including from families, based on cultural and religious traditions is commonplace, making the West Bank and Gaza challenging environments for LGBTQI+ persons. PA security officers have harassed, abused, and sometimes arrested LGBTQI+ individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. NGOs have reported that Hamas also harassed and detained persons in Gaza due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 
 
LGBTQI+ travelers are encouraged to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially when entering religious or socially conservative areas.

Israel’s Aguda organization provides useful information on LGBTQI+ issues in Israel. 
 
Seeour LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues: Individuals with mobility issues may find accessibility and accommodation in Israel very different from in the United States. Legislation mandates access to buildings and transportation, as well as accommodations for persons with disabilities in services and the workplace. However, the government enforces the laws with only limited success. Societal discrimination and lack of accessibility persist in employment and housing. The law mandates accessibility to urban public transportation but not to intercity buses. Most train stations maintain access for persons with disabilities; however, many buses still do not have such access. Television stations include subtitles or sign language, and the courts accommodate testimony from persons with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. Tourists will find restaurants, foot paths, and public transportation less accessible than in the United States.

PA law prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Palestinian Disability Law was ratified in 1999, but implementation has been slow. It does not mandate access to buildings, information, or communications. Palestinians with disabilities continue to receive uneven and poor-quality services and care. Familial and societal discrimination against persons with disabilities exists in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

For emergency services in Israel, dial 101 for ambulances, and 100 for police.

Modern medical care and medicines are available in Israel. Some hospitals in Israel, most hospitals in the West Bank, and all hospitals in Gaza, however, fall below Western standards. Travelers can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English-language edition of the Ha'aretz newspaper, or refer to the U.S. Embassy’s medical information list.

Ambulance services are widely available in Israel. Ambulance services in the West Bank are available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. The U.S. government does not have knowledge of the standards of ambulance services in Gaza, but their capabilities have been degraded by the ongoing armed conflict between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) operates in the West Bank and Gaza.

We highly recommend that all travelers review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s entire Travelers’ Health webpage and general Traveler Advice for Israel.Traveler Advice for Israel.

  • Select your destination in the Travelers’ Health webpage. Review all sub-sections including the Travel Health Notices, Vaccines and Medicines, Non-Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Stay Healthy and Safe, Healthy Travel Packing List, and After Your Trip.

Review the Traveler Advice webpage that provides advice on medical considerations including:

  • Reasons for Travel (for example: Adventure Travel, Spring Break Travel)
  • Travelers with Special Considerations (for example: Allergies, Long-Term Travelers and Expatriates)
  • and General Tips (for example: Traveling with Medications, Travel Vaccines)

The Department of State, U.S. embassies and U.S. consulates do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage for places you are traveling overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage on insurance coverage overseas for more information. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (see our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Israel Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Israel.

Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate health facilities are available throughout Israel but health care in the West Bank may be below U.S. standards. Health care in Gaza has been severely degraded by the ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas and what is available is far below U.S. standards.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on medical tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.

Pharmaceuticals

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication in Israel. Pharmaceuticals, both those available over the counter and those requiring a prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with few restrictions or controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication may only be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy

  • If you are considering traveling to Israel to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.
  • Surrogacy is subject to complex local regulation. For additional information, visit the Israel Ministry of Health website for information on surrogacy.

Water Quality

  • Tap water in Israel is potable. In many areas of the West Bank and most areas of Gaza, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

  • Israel: Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. The Government of Israel requires that all occupants of passenger cars always wear seat belts. Passenger cars must use headlights during all intercity travel, both day and night, and during winter. All drivers are required to carry fluorescent vests and safety triangles in the car with them at all times, and they are required to wear the vests whenever they get out of their cars to make repairs or change tires. If a vehicle is stopped for a traffic violation and it does not contain a fluorescent vest, the driver will be fined. These vests can be purchased for a nominal price in all local gas stations. While mobile phone use is prohibited while driving, hands-free units are authorized. The acceptable limit for blood alcohol content is lower in Israel than in the United States.
  • West Bank and Gaza: Crowded roads are common in the West Bank. During periods of heightened tension in the West Bank, protestors have targeted cars and buses with stone throwing, improvised incendiary devices, small arms fire, barricades, and burning tires. Emergency services may be delayed by the need for Palestinian authorities to coordinate with Israeli officials. Seat belt use is required, and drivers may not drink alcohol. Individuals involved in accidents resulting in death or injury may be detained by police pending an investigation. The roads in Gaza have been severely degraded in areas where armed conflict between Israel and Hamas has taken place.

Traffic Laws: Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking at high-speed on undivided two-lane roads is common and may result in accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and Israel's Ministry of Transport and Road Safety for additional information on road safety. 
 
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed that the Government of Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority is in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Israel’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page..

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: May 31, 2024

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser Street
Jerusalem 93392

For Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv, e-mail TelAvivACS@state.gov. For additional contact information for the Embassy Branch Office, see the Embassies and Consulates section on this page.
Telephone
+ (972) (2) 630-4000
Emergency
+ (972) (3) 519-7551
Fax
+ (972) (2) 630-4070

Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Map