As a Pakistani I can visit Palestine

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Current

Conflicts / rocket fire

Since the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan and the cancellation of the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories at the end of April, clashes have repeatedly resulted in serious injuries and deaths on both sides.
In East Jerusalem, especially on Haram al Sharif / Temple Mount, violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces resulted in several hundred injuries, including in the West Bank and in some cities in Israel (Lod, Ramle, Akko, Tiberias, Haifa, Bat Yam and Wadi Ara) the situation has worsened and violent riots broke out. A state of emergency was declared in Lod due to serious nocturnal riots.

After massive rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Israel, in some cases as far as the greater Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas, the Israeli armed forces counterstrikes with injuries and deaths. Ben Gurion International Airport was temporarily closed and air traffic continues to be severely restricted. There are currently only a few flight connections to Germany. Further restrictions on air traffic due to the development of the security situation cannot be ruled out.

The exchange of blows between Gaza and Israel can be expected to continue.

This applies in particular to the area around 40 kilometers from the Gaza barrier. Incidents (including rocket fire) cannot be ruled out in the more extensive border area, including the greater Tel Aviv area. The Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel is closed to passenger traffic in both directions. The Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt is open to registered travelers.

The situation remains very tense throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel, and further protests and riots can be expected. In the West Bank, particularly in the vicinity of checkpoints and near Israeli settlements, further violent clashes or targeted attacks by Palestinians on Israeli security forces and settlers or by settlers on Palestinians are possible. In East Jerusalem, protests and mutual attacks, including with the use of firearms, can occur particularly in the old town and in the residential areas in which houses are threatened with eviction, especially Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

  • Before traveling to the Gaza Strip will be Farther warned, of trips and stays in the immediately adjacent area currently strongly discouraged.
  • When the alarm sirens sound, go to nearby shelters immediately.
  • Inquire about possible changes in the flight plan before you travel.
  • Follow the local and international media closely.
  • Be vigilant and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.
  • If possible, avoid visiting the Old City of Jerusalem and its immediate surroundings, including the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and be particularly vigilant in other Palestinian neighborhoods such as, for example.
  • Avoid moving in the areas affected by the riot, especially at night.
  • Follow the instructions of the local security guards.

COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic as well as adverse effects on public life.

Before unnecessary, tourist tripsto the Palestinian Territories Farther warned.

From unnecessary, tourist trips to Israel will Farther advised against.

Epidemiological situation

Israel and the Palestinian Territories are still affected by COVID-19. Israel is now less affected by COVID-19, in the Palestinian territories the number of new infections exceeds more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, which is why the Palestinian territories are classified as a risk area.

The Israeli Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.

entry

There is an entry ban for all foreign travelers. Exceptions only apply to foreign travelers who can prove that they live in Israel. For this purpose, the responsible Israeli diplomatic mission abroad should be contacted in advance. If entry is permitted, the subsequent quarantine can be placed in home quarantine if a corresponding declaration is completed and a separate, self-contained housing unit is available for this purpose, otherwise the quarantine must be spent in state accommodation. The home quarantine can be monitored by electronic means.

Passengers must also present a negative PCR test result when boarding the flight, if possible with a registered passport number. The test must have been carried out within 72 hours prior to departure. A quarantine obligation generally applies after entry. If travelers agree to carry out a PCR test at the airport immediately after arrival and to carry out another PCR test on the ninth day of quarantine, the quarantine can be shortened from 14 to 10 days. Exceptions to the quarantine obligation exist for travelers who can prove to have been vaccinated in Israel or have already been sick with COVID-19.

The Allenby Bridge / King Hussein Bridge crossing from Jordan to the West Bank, which is controlled by Israeli authorities, is open to entry; For foreigners, entry is only possible with a valid entry permit from the responsible Israeli diplomatic mission abroad. The same PCR test and quarantine requirements apply as for entry via Ben Gurion Airport. The transition is closed on Friday and Saturday.

The Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel is closed to passenger traffic in both directions. The Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt is open for entry and exit. Before entering and leaving the border crossing at Rafah, there is an obligation to provide evidence of a negative PCR test.

The Israeli government provides further information on entry and exit regulations.

Transit and onward travel

The Allenby (or King-Hussein) bridge to Jordan is open to foreigners from Sunday to Thursday. Additional approval from the Jordanian authorities may be required.

The Jordan River and Yitzhak Rabin border crossings to Jordan are closed, the Taba border crossing to Egypt is passable with a vaccination certificate for a certain contingent of travelers.

Travel connections

The possibilities to leave Israel are limited. Only a few destinations are flown to; it is currently possible to travel to Germany several days a week.

Restrictions in the country

There are limitations in daily life. Gatherings of people outdoors and indoors are restricted. Access to museums, shopping centers, fitness studios and other leisure facilities is possible under certain conditions. Further restrictive measures can be taken in “red cities” with high infection rates.

The state of emergency continues to apply in the Palestinian Territories. Hotels and guest houses in the West Bank are closed to foreign guests.

Hygiene rules

Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in public spaces. In addition, distance regulations (two meters to other people) must be observed.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out more about detailed measures and additional information (e.g. entry bans) from the Israeli embassy in Berlin or from the Israeli Ministry of Health before you travel.

  • Please pay close attention to current information on site or in the media.

  • If you have symptoms (e.g. fever over 38 degrees, cough, breathing difficulties or other breathing problems), contact the emergency number 101 and go to home quarantine.

  • Keep yourself informed about the corona situation on site. The Israeli Ministry of Health can be reached by phone on site from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at * 5400 or 08-6241010.

  • See the travel and safety information for Egypt - Partial travel warning for the north of the Sinai Peninsula -.

  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

Security - Partial Travel Warning

Warnings are issued against traveling to the Gaza Strip.
From trips and stays in the immediately adjacent area currently strongly discouraged.

From stays in the immediate border area with Lebanon and Syria, especially east of road 98, is not advised.

It is currently not advisable to travel to the West Bank that is not necessary.

terrorism

Israel remains the declared target of Islamist terrorist groups. Security incidents with a terrorist background have decreased significantly in recent years. There are currently no specific indications of a targeted endangerment of foreigners.

As before, it cannot be ruled out that terrorist attacks in public spaces may occur in the current situation; the risk of an attack persists.

  • Use extra caution nationwide, especially around bus and train stations and on special occasions.
  • Avoid large crowds if possible.
  • Please note the worldwide safety information.

Domestic situation

The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is largely shaped by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Due to the conflict, there is a risk of being involved in security incidents as a visitor, even if they are not directed against foreigners. Disputes cannot be ruled out, particularly in the vicinity of checkpoints.

Even with initially peaceful gatherings, there is a risk that the situation will escalate very quickly.

From the Gaza Strip there are frequent rocket and mortar fire on Israeli territory, which is responded to with Israeli counter-attacks. Kites and balloons equipped with incendiary devices are still occasionally used, which take off from the Gaza Strip and land in the vicinity of the Israeli barrier. Incidents in the Gaza Strip and in the immediately adjacent area cannot be ruled out.

Since the publication of the US proposals for the Middle East peace process and the signing of the normalization agreements between Israel and some Arab states, the security situation has been tense, especially in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces may increase, especially in the West Bank. A flare-up of the incidents in the Gaza Strip and in the immediately adjacent area - especially at a distance of around 40 kilometers from the Gaza barrier - cannot be ruled out.

  • Follow the development of the situation carefully.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Take special care when using public transport in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
  • Familiarize yourself with the existing protective measures (location of the shelters) and instructions from the Israeli civil defense.
  • When the alarm sirens sound, go to nearby shelters immediately.
  • If necessary, follow the instructions from the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command (only available in Israel) or call 104 in English to find out more.

Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem)

Conflicts can arise on the Temple Mount / Haram Al Sharif and its surroundings, for example on Muslim and Jewish holidays and on Fridays.

  • Be especially careful when visiting the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Seek advice from someone who knows the place.
  • Keep yourself informed of the current situation.

Border area with Syria and Lebanon

Tensions have increased in the Israeli-Syrian border area. There have been several security-related incidents, including military ones, in which rockets, mortar shells, etc. fell on Israeli territory. The Israeli armed forces expressly reserve the right to take countermeasures.

  • It is not advisable to stay in the immediate border area with Syria and Lebanon, especially east of road 98.

Border area with Egypt

In the past, rockets from Sinai that hit Israel in uninhabited areas around Eilat were occasionally fired. There was no personal injury or property damage. Isolated armed incidents along the Israeli-Egyptian border cannot be ruled out. In the past there were also exchanges of fire.

  • Avoid driving along the Israeli-Egyptian border and use alternative routes.
  • Also note the travel and safety information Egypt with a Partial travel warning for the North Sinaiincluding the border area to Israel (with the exception of Taba, which is adjacent to Eilat).

Area bordering the Gaza Strip

We strongly advise against staying in the area immediately adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

  • If possible, limit movements in the region to the bare minimum.
  • Find out about the location of shelters and what to do in the event of missile attacks.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions given by security guards.

Palestinian Territories: Gaza Strip

Warnings are issued against traveling to the Gaza Strip.

Information on the Erez and Rafah Crossings may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

The responsible German diplomatic missions abroad are practically unable to provide consular assistance in the Gaza Strip and the associated coastal waters. The same applies to leaving the Gaza Strip.

As part of the Israeli military operation "Protective Edge", heavy attacks were carried out on targets in the Gaza Strip, with many dead and injured. Public infrastructure such as roads, electricity and sewage systems were also damaged. Furthermore, there are still non-detonated explosives (UXO) in the rubble and on roads with little traffic.

The supply situation in the Gaza Strip is difficult. The public power supply is limited to a few hours a day. The groundwater is considered polluted. Fuel shortages also affect other public services, such as sewage treatment plants. Given the current escalation, it is likely to worsen.

Entry into Gaza by sea is not possible. In view of the threat to life and limb, it is urgently warned against attempts to penetrate into the exclusion zone of the coastal waters off the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel. In May 2010, nine people were killed in one such attempt (the so-called "Gaza flotilla").

The only crossing of people between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in Erez, is currently open, especially for humanitarian cases and international organizations. The Gaza Strip has been almost completely cordoned off from general passenger traffic to and from Israel since June 2007. Passenger traffic between Israel and the Gaza Strip, via the Erez crossing, is only allowed with a special Israeli permit and dual states with Palestinian identity documents are generally not allowed at all. As a rule, leaving via Erez is only possible for people who entered via Erez with the permission of the Israeli authorities. The Erez crossing was repeatedly closed at short notice in the past.

The Rafah border crossing, between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, is generally open except on weekends and Islamic holidays.According to the Egyptian authorities, the border crossing can then be used normally - only - by Palestinians with valid identification documents from the Palestinian Authority. The approval of the Egyptian and Palestinian border authorities is required to leave the Gaza Strip. Even if you have recently entered the country, you may have to wait several weeks before you leave the country. If you have entered via Rafah, you cannot leave the Gaza Strip via the Israeli border crossing at Erez.

There is a travel warning for the North Sinai.
Attention is drawn to the considerable dangers of transit through North Sinai, see Travel and Safety Instructions - Partial Travel Warning - Egypt.

Palestinian Territories: West Bank (West Bank)

The West Bank (West Bank) has been under military occupation since 1967 and is divided into areas with different administrative arrangements. There are numerous checkpoints and blocked roads, especially between Israel and Jerusalem on the one hand and the West Bank on the other hand, but also within the West Bank.

There are repeated attacks, attacks and clashes between Israeli security forces, Jewish settlers and the Palestinian population, with dead and injured on both sides. There are repeated reports of attacks on vehicles at which stones or Molotov cocktails are thrown, partly by Palestinians and partly by Israeli settlers.

The security situation in the West Bank is extremely volatile and can change quickly following acute security incidents. In such cases, individual villages can be cordoned off by the Israeli military or so-called "flying" checkpoints can be set up or existing checkpoints can be temporarily closed. The Israeli security forces may be deployed in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities and villages. Protest actions are possible at any time.

Visits to the cities of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jalla, Jericho, Taybe, Al-Bireh and Ramallah, administered by the Palestinian Authority, as well as the use of Road 1 to the Dead Sea and Road 90 in the Jordan Valley are also possible without special local knowledge or local guidance justifiable. Visiting these cities, which are located in the so-called A and B areas, is generally not permitted with an Israeli rental car.

  • As a matter of principle, do not travel to the West Bank without local knowledge or local guidance.
  • Due to the largely conservative society, always dress appropriately and avoid shorts / skirts and clothing that does not cover the shoulders.
  • Be sure to stay calm, avoid crowds and seek refuge inside shops and homes if necessary.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions of the Israeli and Palestinian security forces.
  • Be particularly careful when using Road 60 in the West Bank, especially around Hebron, around the so-called Gush-Etzion Junction and generally near Israeli settlements and checkpoints.
  • In general, avoid driving in the dark.
  • Be sure to observe the restrictions on access to restricted military areas.
  • Pay close attention to media coverage of security incidents.

crime

The crime rate is low. Petty crime such as pickpocketing occurs particularly in touristy locations such as airports, train stations and beaches.

  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • In large crowds such as at airports, train stations, on buses and on beaches, be particularly vigilant and watch out for your valuables.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

Israel and the Palestinian Territories are in a seismically active zone, which is why earthquakes can occur.

There are three climatic zones: the coastal plain has hot, humid summers and mild, rainy winters, the mountainous regions including Jerusalem have warm and dry summers and cold winters, the desert has hot and dry summers and mild winters.
Especially in the summer months, bush and forest fires and sandstorms can occur due to the prevailing climatic conditions.
Flooding can occur in the winter months, especially in the Negev desert.

There are now thousands of sink holes in the Dead Sea. Cave-ins or sinkholes up to 20 meters deep and 80 meters wide appear on the coast within seconds.

In Tel Aviv and the surrounding area, fatal swimming accidents occur time and again due to dangerous currents.

  • Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
  • Do not leave paved roads and paths at the Dead Sea.
  • When swimming in the sea in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area, always stay close to the beach and do not swim too far out.
  • Pay attention to sometimes very strong currents and avoid them early.
  • Only swim on guarded stretches of coast and pay attention to the flags on the beaches and the announcements from the lifeguards.
  • Familiarize yourself with behavioral guidelines for earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There is a domestic flight network (Tel Aviv-Eilat), numerous bus connections and a rail network. The alcohol limit is 0.5. Outside of built-up areas, dipped headlights are also mandatory during the day from November 1st to March 31st.

Much public transport does not run on Shabbat. Driving to ultra-Orthodox quarters on Shabbat should be avoided, and on Yom Kippur it is recommended that you avoid driving.
Renting a rental car in Israel is possible without any problems, but for insurance reasons it is generally not allowed to drive on roads in the Palestinian Territories. The exceptions are Road 1 from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Road 90 in the Jordan Valley. If in doubt, please check the rental conditions carefully.

  • Always have identification with you when traveling in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Driving license

The German driving license is sufficient.

Special instructions on how to behave

When visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, Orthodox Quarter and the Palestinian Territories, avoid wearing shorts / skirts and clothing that does not cover the shoulders.

LGBTIQ

Homosexual acts by men are a criminal offense in the Palestinian Territories. So far, however, no case has come to light in which foreigners have been prosecuted for homosexual acts. More serious than criminal prosecution, however, is social discrimination: homosexuality remains a socially and religiously taboo subject in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Legal specifics

Harsh penalties are provided for trafficking and smuggling drugs.

The unauthorized import and export of wild animals also faces high fines or even imprisonment of up to two years. Information is available from the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Money / credit cards

The national currency is the new shekel (ILS). Credit cards are widely accepted as a means of payment. Cash can be withdrawn at appropriately marked ATMs with credit cards and sometimes with bank cards. The exchange of euros and US dollars is possible without any problems.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity: Travel documents must be valid for six months after the trip.

Stateless persons (instead of a passport) must be in possession of a valid alien's passport or travel document that is valid for one year.

Special regulations apply to German citizens who are entered in the Palestinian register of persons or who have a Palestinian personal identification number (ID) and their spouses, see below.

visa

German citizens who were born after January 1, 1928 do not require a visa for a stay of three months.

German citizens who have been expelled from Israel in the past, have stayed illegally in Israel or who have been refused entry to Israel must have their case checked by an Israeli diplomatic mission or the Israeli Ministry of the Interior and obtain a visa before entering Israel.

Border crossings

The majority of travelers enter Israel via Ben Gurion International Airport, just under 20 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv. There, as well as at the Taba (to Egypt) and Allenby Bridge (to Jordan) border crossings, every traveler receives an entry card (“B2 Stay Permit”), which must be kept until departure. An entry stamp in the passport is then no longer affixed. When crossing checkpoints, especially in the West Bank, the immigration card should be carried to avoid difficulties.

This procedure is not yet used when entering via the Yitzhak Rabin and Arava-Aqaba border crossings. Care should be taken to stamp an Israeli visa on the passport stating the maximum length of stay (usually three months). If desired, this can usually also be stamped on a separate piece of paper, which should be kept until you leave the country.

At the border crossings from Eilat to Egypt (Taba) and Jordan (Arava-Aqaba), as well as the border stations Sheikh Hussein from Israel to Jordan and Allenby Bridge from the West Bank to Jordan, there may be short-term closings or shortened opening times. Opening times are regularly restricted before Jewish holidays. Long waiting times are to be expected.

Entry and exit practice

Previous trips to Arab states or Iran do not constitute an obstacle to entry per se.

If there are visas from Arab states or from Iran in the passport, however, a security interview by Israeli security forces must be expected upon entry (exception: Jordan and Egypt). This also applies to stamps / visas from Malaysia, Indonesia or Sudan. German citizens of even presumed Arab origin or Islamic religious affiliation must also expect a security survey.

The Israeli parliament passed a law on March 6, 2017, according to which non-Israeli nationals will be refused entry to Israel if they have publicly and knowingly called for a boycott of Israel or if they have undertaken to participate in such a boycott. The same applies if they belong to an organization or work for an institution that has called for such a boycott. This also includes the boycott of settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem. This regulation does not apply to holders of a permanent residence permit for Israel.