The holy city of Jerusalem, Palestine
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The holy city of Jerusalem, Palestine

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Palestinian National Authority Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

6,335 sq km (2,446 sq miles) made up of the West Bank territories, 5,970 sq km (2,305 sq miles) and the Gaza Strip, 365 sq km (141 sq miles).

Population

4.7 million (2015).

Population density

734.7 per sq km.

Capital

Ramallah. (Intended seat of government: East Jerusalem.)

Government

Parliamentary Republic.

Head of state

President Mahmoud Abbas since 2005.

Head of government

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah since 2013.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Israeli-style plugs (one round pin beneath two round pins) are used.

With fertile river plains and scrubby desert, Mediterranean olive groves and many historical marvels, Palestine has plenty to offer. Sadly, war and outbreaks of violence have badly damaged the appeal of this hotly contested land. But despite the widely held perception, Palestine is not a tourist-free zone, with more than two million travellers arriving each year.

The bulk of tourists head for Bethlehem, largely through organised tours from Jerusalem. The main attraction is the Church of the Nativity, thought to mark the spot where Jesus Christ was born. There’s also the winding Star Street, believed to be the path Mary and Joseph took on entering the city.

Far from just a pilgrimage site, Bethlehem is fascinating for what remains of the ancient biblical town, as well as its little medina-style streets and bustling market. Foreign investment is trickling through the city, which isn’t as down-at-heel as many expect, with a few museums now open and lots of shops.

Adventurous tourists head for the Separation Barrier, just outside Bethlehem; apart from dividing Israeli and Palestinian territories, the wall is covered in spectacular graffiti by local and international artists including Banksy.

At present, the majority of tourists stick to Bethlehem. But Hebron in the southern West Bank is the largest city in the territory and essential viewing, not least for its fabled souks. The ancient city of Jericho is also attractive for its garden restaurants and stunning Hisham Palace, while Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, is interesting for its lively energy and ubiquitous cafés.

Travel to Gaza, a densely populated slither of coastal land bordering Egypt and separated from the rest of Palestine by Israel, is nearly impossible – especially after the devastating 2014 conflict. But the West Bank remains surprisingly accessible, and while travel advice should be heeded, it is relatively safe.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Israel on the TravelHealthPro website and for the Occupied Palestinian Territories on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Commercial flights are now operating to and from Israel on a limited number of routes. These include a limited number of direct flights to the UK. Check with your travel company for the latest information.

All travellers arriving from abroad will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to departure to Israel. All incoming passengers must also complete an inbound passenger statement within the 24 hours prior to departure to Israel. Foreign nationals must also have an entry permit from the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority.

Passengers who were not vaccinated in Israel, or who have not recovered from COVID-19 in Israel, or who have visited Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico or Turkey within 14 days prior to arrival are required to enter isolation. Travellers who were vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 outside of Israel can apply for an exemption from isolation if they take a serological test and test positive for COVID-19 antibodies in an accredited Israeli laboratory.

Full guidance on requirements upon arrival is regularly updated on the Israeli government website.

Check travel advice for any country that you will transit between Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the UK, as you may need to show proof of onward travel or complete additional documents.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories

There are limited public transport services to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, and local taxis and minicabs can be arranged. You will need to comply with social distancing and health regulations when travelling to the airport.

You may face delays or restrictions at Israeli controlled checkpoints around the West Bank, including when attempting to leave the West Bank.

Information on the current requirements when travelling in Israel can be found on Israel’s Ministry of Health website. This includes requirements when travelling on public transport, in taxis or in private vehicles, and requirements to wear a face covering in public.

On 5 March 2020 the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced a state of emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While some restrictions have been removed, the state of emergency remains in place. You should follow local announcements for any changes to restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and confirm any travel arrangements or hotel bookings before moving around the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Accommodation

Some hotels across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have now reopened. Hotels in Israel are required to comply with the “Purple Badge” requirements and guidelines set by the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Public places and services

Information on the current regulations in Israel can be found on Israel’s Ministry of Health website. This includes regulations for shops, restaurants, bars, other leisure activities and large gatherings.

On 5 March 2020 the Palestinian Authority announced a state of emergency in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While some restrictions have been removed, the state of emergency remains in place. You should follow local announcements for any changes to restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and confirm any travel arrangements or hotel bookings before moving around the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Healthcare in Israel

You should follow the guidance from Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Authority, and be alert to local changes.

For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call the Ministry of Health hotline on *5400 (when you hear the Hebrew message dial 2, 1, 2). After a short assessment you will be forwarded to a designated Magen David Adom (MDA) unit. MDA will coordinate a testing location with you. Results for foreign nationals will be sent to the nearest Ministry of Health Unit. You should take note of how your name is spelt in Hebrew in the system as this will help with tracking results.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Israel.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. As further information is available about the national vaccination programmes, this page will be updated. You can sign up to get email notifications for Israel and for the Occupied Palestinian Territories when this page is updated.

The Israeli national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. British nationals resident in Israel and Jerusalem over the age of 12 are eligible for vaccination. If you are considering a vaccination for somebody aged between 12 and 18, or wish to receive further information about arranging a vaccination, you should seek contact your local healthcare provider.

The Palestinian Authority has now opened COVID-19 vaccination registration for residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. British nationals resident in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine locally and should register on the Palestinian Ministry of Health vaccination website (in Arabic).

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

Further information on local guidance can be found on Israel’s Ministry of Health website and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health’s Facebook page (in Arabic).

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

You should keep up to date with local travel advice via local news outlets and international outlets like the Access Coordination Unit

Local travel

Jerusalem

There are frequent demonstrations in many of the areas of the city visited by tourists including in and around the Old City, especially after Friday prayers. Some of these protests have led to violent clashes. Stay alert at all times in the Old City and leave the area if there is evidence of tension or unrest (for example if the shops in the souks suddenly begin to close their shutters). The entrances to the Old City may be subject to checks or closures.

Isolated street protests and demonstrations can also occur elsewhere in East Jerusalem.

There have been a number of violent incidents on public transport and near public transport lines in Jerusalem, including the Light Rail network. You should avoid using buses in Jerusalem.

Tel Aviv

Take extra care when using public transport in Tel Aviv, in particular at transport hubs, and when using buses in the greater Tel Aviv area. You may wish to consider using other forms of transport.

Gaza

The FCDO advises against all travel to Gaza (including the waters off Gaza). You should not approach the perimeter fence surrounding the Gaza Strip.

The FCDO can no longer offer routine consular assistance in Gaza. If you travel to Gaza you should review your security arrangements regularly and make sure you know what to do if you hear a warning siren.

The FCDO is not able to support individuals applying for entry or exit permits for Gaza. See Entering the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The FCDO recognises the need for major international organisations to carry out humanitarian and reconstruction work and to engage in independent reporting and verification of the situation on the ground in Gaza. Medical and other essential specialist staff should co-ordinate their entry to and exit from Gaza with those organisations.

Do not attempt to enter Gaza by sea, including via a flotilla. The Israeli Navy routinely patrol the area and have made clear that it will prevent any vessels attempting to breach the restrictions. You will be detained and deported, and your electronic equipment is likely to be confiscated. The FCDO does not believe that humanitarian supplies should be delivered in this way. Anyone wishing to send humanitarian assistance or other goods to Gaza should do so through established channels.

Occupied Golan Heights

The FCDO advise against all travel to the east of Route 98 along the Syrian border.

Rocket attacks and sporadic gunfire have occurred in northern Israel without warning since 2012. Although there has been a significant decrease since the military situation on the Syrian Golan stabilised in 2018, a residual threat remains. If you are travelling in the area, follow advice from local law enforcement.

Border with Lebanon

The FCDO advise against all travel to the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar and within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town. If travelling near areas of military operation, adhere to all Israeli official instructions.

The situation on the ground could change quickly. On 1 September 2019 there was an exchange of fire between the militant group Hizballah and the Israeli Defence Force across the Blue Line, with material damage but no reported injuries on either side. You should keep up to date with the news and this travel advice while travelling.

Border with Egypt

The security situation on the border with Egypt remains volatile. Take extra care and be vigilant when using Route 10 which runs along the Israeli border with Egypt and is subject to closures by the Israeli authorities. You may wish to consider using other routes.

West Bank

Expect road closures and numerous checkpoints across the West Bank. Travel in and out of the West Bank is not possible without passing through at least one Israeli military checkpoint. You will need a passport and immigration slip to go through these checkpoints.

The Israeli authorities sometimes restrict movement in and out of the West Bank, either on Jewish High Holidays or as a result of a security incident. This doesn’t normally affect foreign nationals, but would affect dual Palestinian-British nationals. Road closures can occur with little notice. You should keep up to date with local travel updates.

There have been several violent incidents, particularly in the northern West Bank area (north of Tappuah) including throwing of stones and other objects on Route 60. There have been arrests of individuals carrying weapons in Nablus. You should be especially vigilant in this region.

The cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jericho see large numbers of tourists including on organised tours and there have been no recent reports of any serious incidents involving foreigners. However, you should take care when travelling anywhere in the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning particularly in areas close to refugee camps across the West Bank and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. You should avoid all demonstrations or large gatherings, including student protests.

Israelis living in the illegal settlements in the West Bank occasionally organise demonstrations in the West Bank which sometimes turn violent. Take particular care if you are near any of these settlements, including those in the hills around Nablus and in the South Hebron hills. There is a closed military zone in the H2 area of Hebron (around Ash-Shuhada Street and the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs), where there is a risk of a hostile reaction from members of extremist groups.

There are also regular demonstrations against the route of the separation barrier in various locations including the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin, Nabi Saleh, Jayyous, and Al Mas’ara. These frequently turn violent. It is extremely dangerous to attend these demonstrations.

Due to a significant number of road traffic accidents involving taxis in the West Bank, you’re advised not to use them where possible.

Due to restrictions on travel, the ability of the FCDO to provide consular assistance in the West Bank may be limited.

Crime

Most visits to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories are trouble-free, but the theft of passports, credit cards, and valuables from public beaches is common. Keep your personal belongings in a safe place.

Crime is generally not a problem in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but you should take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

Passport security

A Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai in January 2010 found circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports. This has raised the possibility that your passport details could be captured for improper uses while your passport is out of your control. The risk applies in particular to passports without biometric security features. Only hand your passport over to others (including Israeli officials) when absolutely necessary.

Road travel

A green card is proof that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad. You need to carry a green card to prove you have the minimum insurance cover in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Driving is erratic and there are frequent accidents. Radar speed traps operate on roads within Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories, and fines for speeding are high.

If you intend to drive in the West Bank, check that you are insured before setting out. It may be easier to arrange West Bank insurance at a hire company in East Jerusalem than from the major hire car companies in Israel.

It’s not safe to hitchhike in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

If you’re travelling to the desert, go with others, take a supply of water and a mobile phone, and let someone know your itinerary and expected time of return.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded areas, government, military and police installations and against personnel, transportation networks, businesses with Western interests. Areas where foreign nationals and tourists are known to gather may be at higher risk of attack. You should be particularly vigilant in these areas and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities.

Be vigilant, monitor media reports and keep up to date with travel advice. Make sure you are familiar with contact details for the emergency services (in Israel - dial 100; in the West Bank and Gaza - dial 101).

Heightened tensions, brought about by rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, increase the risk of retaliatory terrorist attacks in Israel. You should remain vigilant at all times.

Recent incidents include:

  • On 16 May 2021, there was a car ramming attack against an Israeli police checkpoint in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. Several Israeli police officers were injured
  • on 26 August 2020, there was a stabbing incident in the city of Petah Tikva, killing one civilian
  • on 6 February 2020, a vehicle drove into a group of Israeli soldiers in West Jerusalem, injuring 13 of them
  • on 6 February 2020, there was a shooting incident against Israeli police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem; one police officer was injured.
  • on 15 August and 26 September 2019 there were stabbing incidents against Israeli police officers at Chain Gate, Jerusalem
  • on 23 August 2019, one Israeli was killed and 3 injured by an explosive device at a natural spring outside the West Bank settlement of Dolev
  • on 8 August 2019, an off-duty IDF soldier was fatally stabbed outside a settlement in the Gush Etzion area of the West Bank

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Kidnap

There is a risk of kidnap in Gaza and along the border with Egypt. The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

You should dress modestly in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Local residents in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods can react strongly to anyone (particularly women) dressed inappropriately.

Avoid driving into ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas of Jerusalem on Shabbat (from sunset on Friday to nightfall (approximately 1 hour after sunset) on Saturday). If you attempt to drive into these areas local residents may throw stones at your car.

In 2021, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 12 April and finish on 11 May. During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset are forbidden for Muslims (though not for children under the age of 8). Although alcohol will be available in some hotels and restaurants, drinking alcohol elsewhere may cause offence. As a courtesy, you should avoid drinking, eating, and smoking in public places in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during Ramadan. See Travelling during Ramadan

Be sensitive about taking pictures of people in Muslim and Orthodox Jewish areas. Don’t take photographs of military or police personnel or installations.

Carry identification with you at all times (eg a photocopy of the personal details and entry stamp pages of your passport).

The penalties for smuggling and trafficking in illegal drugs are severe. Those caught in possession can expect a prison sentence.

Israeli law does not criminalise same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in the West Bank but is illegal in Gaza, where it carries a 10 year prison sentence. Attitudes towards LGBT issues within some parts of society can be hostile. All public displays of affection, regardless of the gender or sexuality of those involved, may attract negative attention in more conservative areas. Homosexuality is largely taboo in Palestinian society.

Tel Aviv has a large, active LGBT community and is famous for its annual Pride Parade. An annual Pride Parade is also held in Jerusalem, but there has been a heavy security presence at the event since a fatal stabbing occurred during the 2015 parade. You should exercise extra vigilance if attending. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Israel is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If you are caught breaking local laws on import and export of wild animals you can expect to receive a substantial fine and up to 2 years in prison. For more information on the regulations and laws in Israel please refer to the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection website.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry and borders

As of 31 August 2021, the UK has been added to Israel’s list of COVID-19 “at risk” countries. See the Ministry of Health website for restrictions and exemptions.

All travellers arriving in Israel from an “at risk” destination must enter isolation, including recovered and vaccinated travellers. A PCR test must be taken upon arrival. Exit from isolation is dependent on a negative COVID-19 test and/or vaccination status.

All travellers arriving from abroad will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to departure to Israel. This should be presented to airline staff. Those who are physically unable to access a PCR test, or who cannot take one on humanitarian grounds, can apply to the Exemptions Committee.

All incoming passengers must also complete an online entry statement form within the 24 hours prior to departure to Israel. Foreign nationals must have an entry permit issued by the Population and Immigration Authority. Without this permit, boarding will be denied. You should contact the Israeli Embassy in London for more information.

Full guidance on requirements upon arrival is regularly updated online. Check Israeli Population and Immigration Authority pages and the dedicated COVID-19 Air Transport website for full details. Further restrictions may be introduced at short notice.

Land crossings

Restrictions also apply at land crossings between Israel and Jordan, and between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan. You can find the latest guidance on entering and exiting Israel via the land borders on the Israeli Ministry of Health’s website.

Those wishing to enter Jordan from Israel will need to register in advance. You can find more information on the Visit Jordan website.

You may face delays or restrictions at Israeli controlled checkpoints around the West Bank, including when attempting to leave the West Bank. See Coronavirus

Testing on arrival

All travellers of all ages arriving in Israel, including those who have been vaccinated or recovered, must take a COVID-19 (PCR) tests on arrival in Israel, at their own expense. You can make the payment after you submit the entry statement form prior to traveling to Israel. Payment in advance is at a reduced price. Only PCR tests are admissible.

Quarantine requirements

All passengers who have visited the UK, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Spain, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Cyprus, or Turkey within 14 days of arrival in Israel must enter isolation for a minimum of 14 days.

Individuals who were vaccinated or recovered abroad can apply for exemption from isolation if they complete a serological test, excluding arrivals from those countries listed above.

Full guidance on requirements upon arrival is regularly updated online. Check Israeli Population and Immigration Authority pages and the dedicated COVID-19 Air Transport website for full details. Further restrictions may be introduced at short notice.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK solutions for demonstrating your COVID vaccination status. You should follow guidance for alternative entry requirements. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.

Requirements for departure

All passengers who stayed in Israel for over 72 hours must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, or a valid Israeli vaccination or recovery certificate to leave Israel. All travellers must also complete an online outbound passenger statement form.

From 30 July, travel to the UK for British nationals who also hold Israeli passports or residence permits, will be prohibited. All travel by Israeli citizens or residents to a destination with the highest COVID-19 risk, including the UK, is banned. You can petition the Exceptions Committee for permission to travel to these destinations. This travel ban does not apply to people who transit through these destinations, but only if they stay in the airport transit area no more than 12 hours. This ban does not apply to foreign nationals.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You don’t need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months.

Visitors entering via Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. While this practice is in place at other ports of entry, there have been instances where passports have been stamped for entry purposes. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. If you’re refused entry into Israel, your passport may be stamped with an entry stamp and two red lines drawn across it to indicate the refusal.

It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, if you have any particular concerns about visas or entry into Israel, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London. If you work in Israel without the proper authority, you can be detained and then deported, a process which could take several months. Consular staff will not be able to help you enter Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They are unable get involved in another country’s immigration policy or procedures.

At the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan, as well as at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli border officials have on occasions used an entry stamp for certain travellers that states ‘Palestinian Authority only’ or ‘Judea and Samaria only’. Since travellers entering via the Allenby Bridge crossing must pass through Israeli checkpoints and Israeli-controlled territory to reach Jerusalem or Gaza, this restriction effectively limits travellers who receive this stamp. It is not clear how a traveller receiving the stamp at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport can leave the airport without violating the restriction. This stamp has been issued to travellers who have no Palestinian or other Arab ancestry, and who would not seem to have any claim to a Palestinian Authority ID.

Israeli border officials at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport have also at times required certain travellers to sign a form that states that he/she is not allowed to enter territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority unless he/she obtains advance authorisation from the Israeli ‘Territory Actions Co-ordinator’, and that violating this restriction may result in the traveller being deported from Israel and barred from entry for up to 10 years.

In March 2017 the Israeli Parliament passed a law which gives authority to deny entry to foreign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of Israel and/or settlements, or who belong to an organisation which has called for a boycott. Contact the Israeli embassy if you need further information.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories unless the holder is a returning resident. However, ETDs are accepted for airside transit and exit from Israel.

Previous travel to other countries

Evidence of a previous visit to another country in the region like an entry/exit stamp in your passport does not normally prevent entry into Israel, although it may lead to additional questioning at the border. It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, so if you have any particular concerns about previous travel to another country, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London.

Customs and Immigration

You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur.

If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deposit that is refundable on or after departure.

Israeli security officials have on occasion requested access to travellers’ personal e-mail accounts or other social media accounts as a condition of entry.

Entering the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including by sea to Gaza, is controlled by the Israeli authorities. You must produce a passport and immigration slip, to cross between Israel and the OPTs.

You may be detained on arrival and deported if you are intending to enter Gaza without permission. If you’re entering the country for the purpose of working in the OPTs, you may be refused entry.

The FCDO is not able to support individuals applying for entry or exit permits for Gaza. If you decide to visit Gaza against FCDO advice, you will need to contact the relevant Israeli authorities well in advance. If your entry to Gaza is via the Rafah crossing, you will need to contact the relevant Egyptian authorities in advance. The FCDO is no longer able to provide administrative support for UK charities wishing to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing. The Rafah border regularly closes with no warning and for long periods of time. At these times it may be impossible to enter or leave Gaza.

For more information, contact the nearest Israeli Embassy.

British nationals of Palestinian origin

If you’re a British national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport or travel document in order to leave. If you are a British national with a Palestinian name or place of birth but without a Palestinian ID number, you may face problems. A number of British nationals of Palestinian origin or British nationals married to Palestinians have been refused entry to the country.

Dual nationals

British-Palestinian dual nationals living in the West Bank and Gaza are allowed to travel abroad only via the Rafah or Allenby Bridge border crossings into Egypt or Jordan and return via the same route.

Children with Israeli parents (father and/or mother) are considered to be Israeli nationals. The Israeli Ministry of Interior insists that these children enter and leave Israel on an Israeli passport.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Israel on the TravelHealthPro website and for the Occupied Palestinian Territories on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate
of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Local medical care

Healthcare in Israel is not free and medical treatment can be expensive. Hospitals will insist on payment and may take legal action to delay departure until bills are met. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 101 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. 

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

During extreme weather conditions roads can flood. Flash flooding is a risk, particularly in the Negev. Road users are advised to monitor local weather reports.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

There are ATMs in Israel and Jerusalem that accept international cards. There are fewer ATMs in the West Bank and Gaza. Scottish and Irish banknotes can’t be exchanged in Israel or the OPTs. Money transfer through Western Union to a local Israeli post office normally takes 3-4 hours during a normal working day. Post offices and banks in Israel and Jerusalem close from midday on Friday to Sunday morning. In the West Bank and Gaza they are usually just closed on Fridays.

Purchasing property

There are risks involved with purchasing property in Israeli settlements on land considered to be occupied under international law in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan. Potential purchasers should be aware that a future peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, or between Israel and Syria, could have consequences for property they purchase in these settlements. The FCDO does not offer legal advice on or become involved in private property disputes.

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.