Israel – Much like Saudi Arabia, tourists to Israel usually aren’t going because of the sunny beaches or other typical tourist attractions, but rather because of their religion or visiting family. Israel ranks number seven on the Eight Most Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers. Hordes of Christians, Jews, and Muslims descend on Israel for religious experiences, but are likely to run into political and religious tensions that become violent: rocket fire, terrorism, and frequent military activity. The result makes Israel dangerous for tourists and residents.
The governments of Britain, Canada, and US all have issued alerts regarding travel to Israel. Below is a summary of their alerts.
Avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip and the borders with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. Additionally, avoid all non-essential travel to the West Bank (including Bethlehem, Jericho, and Ramallah).
Since February 2018, violence has escalated due to military operations regarding Syria. There remains a risk of further military activity in northern Israel and the occupied Golan. Exercise caution when traveling in these areas.
Following US President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017, Palestinian factions have called for mass protests across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The security situation could quickly deteriorate, particularly around the Old City of Jerusalem. Additionally, tensions continue in Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Canadian government recommends a high degree of caution for all of Israel; for example, in Jerusalem because of clashes between protesters and local authorities, politically motivated attacks and violence. The US echoes these warnings as well as noting that Jerusalem has had violent clashes and terrorist attacks that kill innocent bystanders. It’s dangerous to use public transportation or drive in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and other highly-touristed spots. For example, a young British woman was stabbed to death while riding light rail in Jerusalem in April, 2017.
In summary, tourists are in danger of getting caught up in long-term religious and political warfare that shows no sign of getting better.
If you need or want to go to Israel, visit the Dead Sea, or the Red Sea at Eilat.
Conclusion: Perhaps you are thinking it would be better to go where a woman can travel freely and safely, if so, please refer to our 10 Safest Countries for Women Travelers, Best Countries in Africa, Best Places in Oceania, Best Countries in South America, and Best and Worst of North America.
Photo: AFP, courtesy of the Singapore Straights Times