Israel and the Occupied Territories
On 21 November, a ceasefire came into effect. We continue to advise against all travel to Gaza and the areas immediately adjacent to Gaza. We advise that travellers exercise extreme caution within 40km of Gaza. Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution in all other parts of Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory.
· Travellers should regularly acquaint themselves with the latest developments regarding a possible regional military conflict.
· We strongly advise against all travel to the Gaza Strip, including the waters off Gaza.
· We strongly advise against all travel to the border area with the Gaza strip in southern Israel.
· We strongly advise Irish citizens to exercise caution when travelling to the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian Territory. There are increased tensions in the West Bank with an increased possibility of violence between Palestinian protestors and Israeli security. Travellers are strongly advised to avoid all gatherings and demonstrations across the Israel and West Bank at this time.
· The situation will continue to be monitored and will be kept under active review.
· Because of Israeli requirements, diplomatic/Consular staff are obliged to give 5 working days' notice of an intention to visit Gaza. There is no guarantee that permission will be given even after complying with this time limit. In addition, the EU rule precluding contact with the de facto authorities in Gaza has rarely been waived and then only in an emergency.
Safety and Security
Irish citizens travelling to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory should inform themselves and remain alert to all developments which could indicate a likely outbreak of regional military conflict and determine the necessity of their travel plans in accordance with the latest available information.
We advise strongly against all travel to the Gaza Strip. Concerning the Israeli-Gaza Strip border, although cease-fires have been declared on previous occasions, these are fragile, with sporadic rocket fire in the region. Recent closures of the Rafah crossing have prevented planned departures from Gaza, and while now re-opened, further closures of the Rafah and Erez crossings may happen at short notice without warning. We advise that travellers should continue to exercise extreme caution within 40 kilometres of the border, remaining alert to any rocket warnings.
Irish citizens in Gaza are advised to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs, if they have not already done so, by clicking here. Those Irish citizens who have decided to leave Gaza should do so now while it is still possible. Contact details for the Embassy of Ireland are here. Irish citizens should be aware that it is extremely unlikely that the Irish Government will be able to provide any consular assistance to citizens who travel to Gaza at this time.
The security situation in the occupied West Bank has improved considerably in recent years, but the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories remains an ongoing source of tension. As some areas remain tense and local situations have the potential to deteriorate suddenly, citizens should exercise caution, check the travel advice regularly and register with the Irish Embassy in Tel Aviv or the Representative Office in Ramallah before travelling. Similarly, West Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City of Jerusalem, remain popular tourist destinations but citizens should exercise caution and avoid the use of public transport in these areas.
Large gatherings of people or demonstrations should be avoided.
Local Laws and Customs
For entry requirements for Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
The penalties for smuggling and trafficking in illegal drugs are severe. Persons caught in possession of illegal drugs can expect a prison sentence and deportation.
Travellers to both Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory will notice a mix of religions and cultures. Many people feel strongly about their beliefs and customs and visitors should at all times be aware of local cultural mores. For example, it is not recommended to enter a Jewish Ultra-Orthodox area, particularly in Jerusalem, on Shabbat (Friday evening to Saturday evening). Modest dress is recommended at pilgrimage sites and in religious areas in Jerusalem as well as in the West Bank and Gaza. Travellers should also be sensitive when taking pictures of people in Muslim and Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods.
Travellers are advised to take care not to take photographs of military or police personnel or installations.
It is recommended to carry identification with you at all time in case it is requested by the local authorities. It is also advisable to make photocopies of your passport, including after arrival, the date and entry stamp pages in case of theft or loss.
The purchase of property in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory, or the Golan Heights under Israeli occupation is subject to risk. The Irish Government considers these settlements to be illegal under international law. The establishment of Palestinian sovereignty in the areas currently under Israel occupation and the restoration of Syrian control to the occupied Golan Heights may have legal consequences for the purchasers of such properties. Potential purchasers should seek independent legal advice before undertaking such purchases.
Natural Disasters and Climate
There are occasional small earthquakes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory, however in general these pose little risk to the inhabitants and visitors. The last major earthquake, which measured an estimated 6.2 on the Richter scale, was in 1927.
The climate is warm.
Additional Country Info
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Travellers should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Crime against the person is not generally a problem in either Israel or the occupied Palestinian Territory. However, visitors should keep their passports and personal belongings in a safe place at all times. Particular attention should be paid at tourist sites, beaches, and in crowded places, when wallets, money and other valuables should be kept secure, and, out of sight.
Driving in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory is erratic and there are frequent accidents. Radar speed traps operate on Israeli roads and fines for speeding are high. Persons caught speeding may also have their licence confiscated.
It is not safe to hitchhike in Israel or the occupied Palestinian Territory.
If you are travelling in the desert, go with others, carry a sufficient supply of water, take a mobile phone and ensure that somebody is aware of your itinerary and your expected time of return.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS IN ISRAEL
Contact details for all Irish Missions (including Honorary Consuls) in Israel are available here. (Opens in new window) Top