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Traveling safely in Israel during Gaza Operation

18 November, 201218 November, 2012 0 comments Events Events

Tourism sites in the center and north of the country were full of tourists over the weekend. Tourism Ministry Director-General Noaz Bar-Nir visited the main tourism sites in Jerusalem, including , among others, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher , Gethsemane and throughout the Old City. Bar Nir spoke with groups of tourists and their guides and noted that it is "business as usual, in Jerusalem and the North, especially in Nazareth which is currently hosting thousands of tourists. It should be noted that the ministry has been advised of a few groups who decided to cut short their visit and return home early.


In the short term there have been cancellations among tourists due to arrive in the country. However, it is still difficult to assess the scope of the damage to the tourism industry, which has registered record numbers of incoming tourism in recent years. So far in 2012, tourism is up over 10 % from 2011 levels. 


Over this past weekend he Tourism Ministry established a situation room to receive updates on the unfolding situation and constantly reviews assessments of the situation. At the moment, the main work of the ministry is explaining the situation to tourism wholesalers, tour operators etc. overseas who bring over groups of tourists and market packages to Israel. To date date, there has been no serious damage beyond a 40 kilometer radius from Gaza. Cruise ships that were due to dock in Ashdod are, instead, docking in Haifa.


For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Internet website where the Worldwide CautionCountry Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found, including the current Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.  You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem through the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 630-4000 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575 during working hours. After hours (for emergencies), U.S. citizens may telephone either the Consulate General at (972) (2) 622-7250 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at http://usembassy-israel.org.il or http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov.


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Elisa L. Moed is the founder and CEO, of Travelujah- Holy Land tours, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.







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