Is It Safe To Travel To Israel?
Welcome to the Shin Tours Blog!
Are you thinking of visiting Israel … but hesitating because you’re not sure how safe it is? There are plenty of reports and commentaries in the news about the Israeli security situation which can leave you feeling quite worried. Interestingly, many of the commentators have never even been to Israel themselves. So before, you make your travel plans, it’s important to do your homework and arm yourself with the facts.
Fact #1. Israeli intelligence personnel are among the best in the world. They are carefully selected and highly trained. From the moment of your arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you can be assured that intelligence agents are poised discreetly in the area, on the alert for the slightest hint of any suspicious activity. When necessary, they will spring immediately into protective action.
Fact #2. Israel has a topnotch standing army. Many first-time visitors to the country are quite surprised – and perhaps even a little alarmed — at the number of soldiers they spot on the street and in other public places, openly carrying weapons. Far from being frightened, however, look at this sight as reassuring. These brave young men and women are ready, willing, and able to defend their country and its visitors.
Fact #3. Israel is better prepared than most European countries to prevent terrorist incidents. Over the past few years, Europe has been tragically hit by a number of deadly terrorist incidents in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Munich, Stockholm, London, and other sizable cities. Israel, due its decades of sad experience with these types of terror attacks, is equipped to respond fast and effectively, whether at the airport or anywhere else in the country.
Fact #4. Security is a fact of life in Israel. Whenever you enter a bus station, shopping mall, and most large buildings, you’ll need to go through a security check – a thorough search of your bags and usually a metal detector, as well. Security guards watch over the entrance to restaurants and other public gathering places. Many tour guides are licensed to carry firearms, especially if they will be escorting groups to sites in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
Fact #5. Israel has a surprisingly low crime rate. You should obviously be careful of valuables such as wallets, jewelry, and cameras whenever you’re out and about. Leave your passport and expensive items in the hotel room safe! However, street crimes like muggings are relatively rare. Do use common sense and ask your tour guide about the safety of any place that you’d like to visit on your own; take a taxi (quite cheap in Israel – and the driver don’t expect tips) rather than publish transportation if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Fact #6. Israelis treat tourists well. Israelis are used to seeing large numbers of tourists sightseeing in their land. In general, the locals are also quite friendly and even protective toward visitors. Feel free to ask them for directions or other help you might need.
Until next week!