We have written about some of the harsh conditions faced by children growing up in Israel. But what exactly is the state of the country according to the United States government? Here are some highlights of the travel advisory issued by the United States Department of State, which should give you some insight into what you could expect when visiting the country.
“The security environment remains complex in Israel.”
The Department of State recommends people interested in traveling to Israel stay up to date with the political situation, current events and more in both Israel and the surrounding region. While there has been a cease fire of late, there is always the chance for political tensions to boil over into violence, which means the situation could drastically change from one day to the next.
“Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens visit safely.”
After offering this initial warning, the Department of State goes on to reassure people interested in traveling to the country that there are many people who visit Israel for a variety of reasons,
including tourism, study and business, each year without incident. So while there are some security concerns, this certainly isn’t a Somalia situation, where there truly is a high risk.
Certain travel restrictions and warnings
The Department of State urges travelers to avoid the Gaza Strip, as it is the most politically turbulent area in the region. Government personnel must get special security detail when traveling within seven miles of the Gaza strip, and there are similar restrictions in place for the Israel/Lebanon border.
Major metropolitan areas
The Department of State compares safety in major metropolitan areas like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to that of safety in other major cities around the world, but encourage travelers to nonetheless pay attention to current events and the political situation when traveling. Basically, there is violence and unrest in Israel, but people interested in visiting, whether to assist with volunteer work or to see the sights of the Holy Land, are not restricted from doing so. But these warnings alone should give you an idea of exactly what the people of the region face on a daily basis, and why we are so committed to helping them. Contact us today for more information about our work in Israel.