Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza International Travel Information
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza (including the Erez Crossing), and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon Street
Tel Aviv Israel 63903
Telephone: + (972) (3) 519-7575
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (972) (3) 519-7551
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv for information and assistance in Israel outside of Jerusalem, and the northern (Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Yitzhak Rabin) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt.
Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world. Please read the Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Travel Advisory for additional information.
The Government of Israel administers immigration and security controls at its international land crossings with Jordan (into both the West Bank and Israel), Egypt (at the Taba crossing near Eilat), and at Israel’s airports and seaports. A separate network of security checkpoints and crossings operated by Israeli authorities regulates the movement of people and goods between Israel and the West Bank, and between Israel and Gaza.
The U.S. government seeks equal treatment and freedom of travel for all U.S. citizens regardless of national origin, religion, or ethnicity. All persons seeking to enter or depart Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza are subject to immigration and security screening, possibly including prolonged questioning and physical searches, and may be denied entry or exit consistent with the uniform application of Israeli law. Persons who are denied entry have the right to an immigration court hearing to contest the denial, but they will be detained for the duration of the proceedings. Specific questions about your individual circumstances should be directed to your closest Israeli Embassy or Consulate.
When traveling into Israel, please make sure you have proper travel documentation – including a full validity U.S. passport – before arrival in Israel. Israel may deny entry to an individual using a limited-validity, or emergency U.S. passport.
1. Do I need a visa to enter Israel if I normally live in the United States?
U.S. citizens may use their U.S. passport to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, including U.S. citizens transiting Israel to and from the West Bank. For more information, please contact your nearest Israeli Embassy or consulate and consult this webpage: Entry-Exit into Israel.
2. Do I need a visa to enter the West Bank if I am visiting the West Bank and normally live in the United States?
U.S. citizens who are not West Bank residents can use their U.S. passport to enter the West Bank for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry-Exit Information: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
U.S. citizens who are not PA ID/passport holders and who wish to study, teach, research, work, or volunteer in the West Bank should consult the Government of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) regulations on entry into the West Bank. U.S. citizens who are engaged or are married to West Bank residents and wish to remain in the West Bank should also consult these regulations. Questions regarding these regulations can be directed to COGAT by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +972-3-697-7577.
3. Do I need a visa to enter Israel if I normally live in the West Bank?
U.S. citizens who are also residents of the West Bank can either apply for a permit to enter Israel from the Government of Israel’s COGAT or apply for a visa to enter Israel at Allenby Bridge in order to transit through the West Bank to Israel for up to 90 days. For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry-Exit Information: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
4. Do I need a visa to enter Gaza through Israel if I normally live in the United States?
Please see the Travel Advisory before traveling to Gaza. Gaza is Level 4 – Do Not Travel. We remind all U.S. citizens seeking to travel to Gaza that the U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Gaza. U.S. citizens seeking entry into Israel from Gaza (or entry into Gaza from Israel) should follow the instructions provided on the COGAT website to request permission to enter. For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry-Exit Information: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
5. Can U.S. citizens registered as residents of Gaza enter or transit Israel?
A U.S. citizen who is also listed on the Palestinian Population registry for Gaza and has a center of life in the Gaza – someone who has spent more than 50 percent of the last five years in Gaza (or more than 912 days) as confirmed by the Israeli government – can apply while they are in Gaza for a permit to enter Israel via the Erez Crossing from the Government of Israel’s COGAT. When outside of Gaza, they may apply for admission to enter Israel through any international port of entry.
A U.S. citizen who is also listed on the Palestinian Population registry for Gaza and has a center of life outside the Gaza Strip – someone who has spent more than 50 percent of the last five years outside of Gaza (or more than 912 days) as confirmed by the Israeli government – may use their U.S. passport to enter Israel for business or tourism purposes for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, including transiting Israel to and from the West Bank. Such U.S. citizens cannot enter on their U.S. passport for the purpose of transiting Israel to Gaza.
For more information, visit the Government of Israel’s webpage: Entry-Exit Information: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
6. What if I am denied entry?
U.S. citizens should immediately report any denial of entry or harassment or discriminatory treatment by border officials to the American Citizens Services (ACS) unit of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv.
Please note that the decision to admit or deny a traveler admission to Israel is entirely made by the State of Israel, and the U.S. Embassy cannot intervene on an individual’s behalf. U.S. citizens who are denied entry into Israel or the West Bank should receive a written explanation from Israeli authorities.
The Israeli Ministry of Interior has continued to deny entry into Israel and the West Bank of some foreign nationals (including U.S. citizens) affiliated with certain political and non-governmental organizations that the Government of Israel views as anti-Israel. Participation in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)-related activities is one of the considerations Israeli authorities consider when deciding whether to refuse entry to individuals into Israel and the West Bank.
In addition to contacting the U.S. Embassy, if you were the subject of mistreatment or harassment by Israeli authorities upon entry to or at exit from Israel, you may also email TZ@piba.gov.il to file a complaint with the Israeli authorities. If the mistreatment or harassment occurred at a check point to the West Bank you may email email@example.com to file a complaint.
7. What if I’m an Israeli citizen?
Individuals with Israeli citizenship, regardless of other nationality, including U.S. citizenship, must enter and depart Israel using their Israeli passports in accordance with Israeli law. Due to a passport backlog, Israeli citizens are temporarily allowed to enter and depart Israel on non-Israeli passports until December 31, 2023. Israeli citizens are prohibited from using the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing. They are also prohibited from entering Gaza and are generally prohibited from traveling to parts of the West Bank under PA control (Area A), to include Bethlehem and Jericho.
Terrorism: Please view the current Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for detailed information regarding the terrorism threat in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Jerusalem: See the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
The West Bank: See the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
The Gaza Strip: See the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for additional information.
Mortar and Rocket Fire: In the event of mortar or rocket fire, a “red alert” siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real. Follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. U.S. government personnel and their family members may be restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity, sirens, and/or the opening of bomb shelters. For additional information on appropriate action to take upon hearing a siren or explosion, see the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command website (available on devices within Israel) or view the Preparedness Information. U.S. citizens may also wish to download the free Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command application on Android or Apple devices to receive real-time security and safety alerts. Free commercial applications, such as Red Alert: Israel, are also available.
Crime: The crime rate is moderate in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Parked vehicle break-ins are common at public beach areas, national parks, and other tourist sites. Vehicle theft also remains a problem. U.S. citizens should not leave their valuables (including passports) unattended in parked vehicles, on the beach, or unsecured in hotels. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings in tourist areas and watch for crimes of opportunity, such as pickpockets.
For additional information, read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Crime and Safety Report for Israel.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police. The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Israel and the West Bank is 100 for police, 101 for an ambulance, and 102 for the fire department.
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. You can reach the U.S. Embassy at the contact information provided above. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact local police but may also contact the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv to report it.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws and legal systems, which can be vastly different from those in the United States. If you violate Israeli or Palestinian Authority laws, even unknowingly, being a U.S. citizen will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking illegal drugs in Israel and PA-administered areas are severe and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Individuals expressing views, including on social media, which the Government of Israel considers incitement to violence or hate speech may face criminal penalties. Palestinian Authority security officials have also arrested Palestinians who posted criticism of the PA and PA leadership online. In Gaza, individuals publicly criticizing authorities have risked reprisal by Hamas, including arrest, interrogation, seizure of property, and harassment.
Arrests and Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to immediately notify the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem or the U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv immediately. See our website for further information. While the U.S. Embassy may not recommend a particular foreign attorney, the embassy website has the names of several attorneys who have identified themselves as willing to assist U.S. citizen clients. Please note that inclusion on this list in no way represents an endorsement of services by the Department or the U.S. government.
Arrests and Arrest Notification by Israel:
Arrests and Arrest Notification by the Palestinian Authority (PA):
Gaza: Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, they have dominated security matters in Gaza. The U.S. government has no contact with Hamas and cannot assist those arrested in Gaza.
Israeli Court Jurisdiction: Civil and religious courts in Israel actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including nonresidents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims against them are resolved. Israel's religious courts exercise jurisdiction over all citizens and residents of Israel in cases of marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support. U.S. citizens, including those without Israeli citizenship, may be subject to involuntary and prolonged stays (and even imprisonment) in Israel if a case is filed against them in a religious court, even if their marriage took place in the United States, and regardless of whether their spouse is present in Israel. The U.S. Embassy is unable to cancel the debt of a U.S. citizen or guarantee their departure from Israel when they face a bar from leaving the country until debts are resolved.
Purchases of Property: U.S. citizens should always seek legal advice before buying or leasing property in the West Bank and Gaza. Please see the most recent Investment Climate Statement for the West Bank and Gaza for additional information on property rights.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or be forced to forfeit them if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTQI+ Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) events in Israel. Israeli anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQI+ individuals. Acceptance and tolerance of LGBQTI+ people vary throughout the country and from neighborhood to neighborhood. As of August 2014, the Law of Return allows that same-sex spouses of Jews immigrating to Israel – known as “making Aliyah” – are eligible to make Aliyah with their spouses and receive Israeli citizenship.
The legal systems in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are based on the 1960 Jordanian penal code which prohibits consensual same-sex sexual activity. However, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not prosecuted individuals suspected of such activity. Societal discrimination, including from families, based on cultural and religious traditions is commonplace, making the West Bank and Gaza challenging environments for LGBTQI+ persons. PA security officers have harassed, abused, and sometimes arrested LGBTQI+ individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. NGOs have reported that Hamas also harassed and detained persons in Gaza due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
LGBTQI+ travelers are encouraged to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially when entering religious or socially conservative areas.
Israel’s Aguda organization provides useful information on LGBTQI+ issues in Israel.
See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.
Persons with Mobility Issues: Individuals with mobility issues may find accessibility and accommodation in Israel very different from in the United States. Legislation mandates access to buildings and transportation, as well as accommodations for persons with disabilities in services and the workplace. However, the government enforces the laws with only limited success. Societal discrimination and lack of accessibility persist in employment and housing. The law mandates accessibility to urban public transportation but not to intercity buses. Most train stations maintain access for persons with disabilities; however, many buses still do not have such access. Television stations include subtitles or sign language, and the courts accommodate testimony from persons with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. Tourists will find restaurants, foot paths, and public transportation less accessible than in the United States.
Palestinian Authority law prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Palestinian Disability Law was ratified in 1999, but implementation has been slow. It does not mandate access to buildings, information, or communications. Palestinians with disabilities continue to receive uneven and poor-quality services and care. Familial and societal discrimination against persons with disabilities exists in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Modern medical care and medicines are available in Israel. Some hospitals in Israel and most hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, however, fall below Western standards. Travelers can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English-language edition of the Ha'aretz newspaper, or refer to the U.S. Embassy’s medical information list.
Ambulance services are widely available in Israel. Ambulance services in the West Bank are available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. The U.S. government does not have knowledge of ambulance services in Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) operates in the West Bank and Gaza.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas, including for COVID-19. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (see our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Israel Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Israel. Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most health care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
For further health information, go to:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general:
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy
Road Conditions and Safety: While in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic Laws: Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking at high-speed on undivided two-lane roads is common and may result in accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and Israel's Ministry of Transport and Road Safety for additional information on road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed that the Government of Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority is in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Israel’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page