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How safe is Israel for tourists?

edited October 2010 in Middle East
Is there any danger or safety issues for toursits visiting Israel? We plan on going around the country from Eilat in the South, to Jerusalem, Tel AViv, then Haifa and to kibbutz Kfar Blum in the north on the Galilee. When I was last in Israel 15 years ago there was plenty of danger with bus bombings and missiles from Lebanon. How safe am I travelling on buses, and hiking in the hills etc? Has anyone been recently - what is the general security vibe - are the immigration officials and airport security guards still so aggressive and paranoid? (Although if people are actually trying to bomb you I suppose its not really paranoia).


  • edited 5:07PM
    I am inquiring input as well on the safety of visiting Israel, Bethlehem, Jerusalem this winter of 2011. Safe/risky level these days.
    My young adult daughter is going with a group.
    Naturally concerned about her safety and well being...not to mention a bit envious....odd combo I know. Feedback?
  • edited 5:07PM
    My young adult son is going on Birthright in january 2011. I feel it is a wonderful opportunity and so many of his friends have gone on this escorted tour without any problems. So although no one can be certain on safety these days, I'm all for this trip. Hopefully, they will all be safe!
  • edited 5:07PM
    It is difficult to generalise about safety travelling anywhere. As in any place you should get the local advice on safe places to go and places less safe to go.
    Also security is so subjective. I reckon London to be safe, but my American friends would not go with 100 miles at the moment!

    In Israel, as a Jew (and one who does not know Arabic) I would take care not to stray into the Arab areas on the West Bank and I would probably not go to Hebron - but my Christian friends seem to think it is OK and I am sure if you go in a tour group it is fine.
    Again, as a Jew, I get a feeling of tension these days when going into the Arab areas of Jerusalem's Old City. I think it is safe as long as you are modestly dressed, but can feel the tension.

    There is always the slight risk when you go to Israel that a war might start up. You never can tell. But if you wait for a definitely safe period you could wait a long time - so we just go, and it has always been fine.
    I have not found the Airport security checks aggressive, just careful and assertive. Not advisable to crack jokes with them about bombs in your hand luggage. Pack your own luggage and don't take anything for someone else you have not seen packed - take security seriously.

    Check the news, in case there has been a security threat in a particular area eg there have not been bus bombs recently but there was a warning that Gazaan terrorist are planning attacks in the Sinai. Currently the border with Gaza is not such a great place to to picnic as missiles are being lobbed over frequently.
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