Israel is one of the countries that I like to visit a lot and I have visited it more than 10 times. The first thing that friends and acquaintances almost always ask is, is it not a dangerous country to visit?
Security in Israel
My answer is always that it is one of the countries that I have felt most comfortable in. In Europe, we are actually experiencing far more terror than they do in Israel. Stabbing on London Bridge, car attacks in crowded streets and news of terrorist attacks, which the authorities fortunately manage to avert in time. You already know the many sad headlines.
Compared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ assessment of the risk of terrorism in Israel, it has been assessed at the same level as in the countries here in the EU. And in Israel, there have never been terrorist attacks directed directly at tourists (as has been seen in Egypt, for example).
Keep an eye on the situation
What separates Israel from us here in Europe is that the country is located in the Middle East, where the situation can change rapidly. Most recently (January 2020), the American killing of Iranian General Soleimani has heightened tensions in the region (and probably in the Western world as well?).
This has meant that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has changed their travel guide for travel to countries such as Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, where they recommend that one be extra careful. This means that you must keep up to date with the news and follow developments.
Are there places in Israel that are not safe to visit?
Israel is a relatively small country the size of Jutland, and it is easy to get around in all parts of the country. However, there is one single area that you should not visit. And that’s the area around the border into the Gaza Strip. In this area, there may be a risk of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. So stay away from this area.
Is it safe to visit the Palestinian territories in the West Bank?
If you have the time and opportunity for your trip to Israel, then I would also recommend you to visit some of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank (which despite the name is located east of Israel). It will give you a unique and more nuanced insight into the history of the area, the Palestinian culture and the conflict in the area.
You need to feel safe on the journey
There is nothing worse than being out traveling and feeling insecure. As I said, I have always felt safe both in Israel and in the West Bank and under the current conditions I will easily be able to recommend you to travel to Israel. But feel in the stomach. If you do not feel safe, then you need to find another place to travel.
But if you leave, you will have a fantastic journey packed with experiences, fantastic food, beautiful nature and insight into a diverse culture that includes both Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Good advice before traveling to Israel and Palestine
ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAVEL GUIDE
Always check the latest travel guide from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – no matter where in the world you travel. Here you can read the latest news about security in Israel:
Israel – travel guide
Palestine – travel guide
SIGN UP FOR THE DANISH LIST
The Danish list is a service from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which you can sign up for free no matter where in the world you have to travel. You will then be contacted if a crisis arises in the country you are staying in.
FIRST TRIP TO THE WEST BANK?
If you are considering visiting the West Bank, then I would recommend you take an organized trip. Not because it is dangerous to travel alone, but because having a guided tour will give you a more nuanced and thorough insight into Palestinian society.
I myself have good experiences with this company (not sponsored):
Green Olive Tours
REMEMBER TRAVEL INSURANCE
You must remember to take out travel insurance before traveling to Israel and Palestine. Also consider taking out a cancellation insurance policy. Then you are also covered if you are prevented from traveling due to illness or your destination is hit by a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
Always check with your insurance company how exactly you are covered.
I hope you became a little more clear about security in Israel by reading this article. If you have a comment or good advice about the article, I would love to hear from you.