We urgently warn against traveling to the Gaza Strip.
In the past few months, individual perpetrators have repeatedly attacked Israeli civilians and security forces with knives and, occasionally, with firearms. Most of the incidents occurred in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but also in isolated cases in Israel. So far there is no evidence that foreign visitors are the target of violence. Nevertheless, heightened caution is urgently recommended, especially in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Travelers should avoid crowds and, as visitors to the Old City of Jerusalem or other exposed places, ensure that they are accompanied by someone who is familiar with the area. Visiting the old town when it is dark is not recommended.
It cannot be ruled out that the current situation may lead to isolated terrorist attacks in public spaces. Until further notice, travelers should exercise particular caution when using public transport in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This is particularly true near bus and tram stops in Jerusalem, where gunfire and a bomb attack have already occurred this year.
At checkpoints in particular, but also in larger cities in the West Bank, there can be spontaneous protests again and again. Particular caution is advised there as well.
The security situation can change quickly, especially in the old city of Jerusalem, where there have been repeated knife attacks and, in individual cases, attacks with firearms and, as a result, Israeli security measures. Particular care should be taken at the Damascus Gate and in the adjacent streets. Travelers should keep up-to-date with these travel and safety information as well as the media reports on the security situation.
Despite the ceasefire agreed in 2014 after the “Protective Edge” military operation, there are still isolated rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Increased vigilance is therefore advised when staying in the immediate border area to the Gaza Strip.
It is not advisable to stay in the immediate border area with Syria and Lebanon. Tensions in the border area have increased significantly in recent months and there have been several security incidents in which rockets fired from Syrian territory fell in Israel.
It is also advised to avoid driving along the Israeli-Egyptian border.
All Germans who are staying – even temporarily – in Israel or the Palestinian Territories are advised to register online on the crisis prevention list (http://elefand.diplo.de). For stays in Israel, the responsible diplomatic mission is the Tel Aviv Embassy, for stays in the Palestinian Territories the responsible diplomatic mission is the Ramallah office. The responsible representation must be entered in whose district you are mostly staying. The administrative district of the Representative Office Ramallah includes the Palestinian Territories, ie the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (please note travel warning).
Before and during the trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, it is advisable to find out about current developments as well as the websites of the embassy in Tel Aviv (external link, opens in new window www.tel-aviv.diplo.de) and the Ramallah representative office (External link, opens in new windowwww.ramallah.diplo.de).
Country-specific safety information
According to youremailverifier, 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. It is advisable to follow the development of the situation carefully and to avoid crowds.
In addition to the above recommendations, the following information applies:
Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem)
Visiting the Temple Mount / Haram Al Sharif is not recommended on Muslim and Jewish holidays and Fridays.
When staying in Jerusalem, greater caution is advised, especially in the Old City and the adjacent neighborhoods. Violent riots can occur in these areas, especially around the Temple Mount / Haram Al Sharif. This is all the more true in view of recent events.
Israel in general
In view of the current security situation, heightened caution is advised across the country, particularly in the vicinity of bus and train stations. Crowds should be avoided.
In a European comparison, petty crimes such as pickpocketing are relatively rare. At the same time, Israel remains the declared target of Islamist terror groups. Security incidents with a terrorist background have decreased significantly in recent years. There are currently no specific indications of a specific threat to foreigners.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with the existing protective measures (location of the shelters) and, if necessary, follow the instructions of the Israeli civil protection authorities. On the website of the German Embassy in Tel Aviv, under the heading “Consular Service, Emergency Aid for Germans”, information from the Israeli authorities with instructions on how to behave in crisis situations, including rocket attacks, is available. You can also find more information on the English-language Facebook page of the Israeli Civil Defense (Home Front Command).
Border area with Syria and Lebanon
In connection with the internal Syrian conflict, there have been ricochets from mortar shells and handguns and, recently, there have been isolated attacks on Israeli targets near the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights. As a result, one person was killed and several people were injured. There were also isolated rocket attacks on the Israeli border area from Lebanon. The Israeli armed forces reserve the right to take countermeasures. Overall, tensions in the border area have increased significantly in recent months. In August 2015, impacts in the northern Galilee (Hula Valley) were recorded for the first time.
It is not advisable to stay in the immediate border area with Syria and Lebanon.
Border area with Egypt
In the past, rockets from Sinai that hit Israel in uninhabited areas around Eilat have been shot down. 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.
It is advised to avoid journeys along the Israeli-Egyptian border and to use alternative routes.
Border area with the Gaza Strip
In the summer of 2014 there were intense military clashes in and around the Gaza Strip (Operation “Protective Edge”). This resulted in massive rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli territory, most of which took place in the villages near the Gaza Strip (Radius 40 km) Despite the ceasefire agreed in 2014, there have been isolated rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.
Greater caution is advised when staying in the immediate border area to the Gaza Strip. It is recommended – especially for longer stays – to find out about the location of shelters and what to do in the event of missile attacks.
Palestinian Territories: Gaza Strip
We urgently warn against traveling to the Gaza Strip.
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”, violent Israeli attacks were carried out on targets in the Gaza Strip, leaving many dead and injured. Public infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and sewage systems, were also damaged. They are also in ruins and areas with little traffic Because of still undetonated explosives (UXO).
With the closure of most of the tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, the supply situation in Gaza deteriorated significantly even before the crisis. The public power supply is limited to a few hours a day. Fuel shortages also affect other public services such as sewage treatment plants.
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 the exclusion zone of the coastal waters off the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel. In May 2010 such an attempt (so-called “Gaza Flotilla”).