Israel-Palestine in conflict once again, after the attack of Hamas on Israel. The war rages on as Israeli airstrikes litter the Gaza streets with concrete and bodies.
Israel-Palestine Travel Restrictions
The Department of State Advisory
In light of the Israel-Palestine conflict, on 11th October 2023, Wednesday, the Department of State raised the travel advisory level for Israel as well as the West Bank to level 3. The Department of State urged citizens to reconsider travel to the country as the Israel-Palestine war rages. The rising conflict between the two parties intensifies by the minute. On Saturday, Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement in Gaza launched a wide-scale attack on Israel. Ever since then, Military actions between Israel and the militant group continued, resulting in the death of 1,200 Israelis, and countless Palestinians.
“Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists, and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza without warning. There has been a marked increase in demonstrations throughout Israel, some with little or no warning.” The Department of State
The ‘reconsider travel’ advisory also extends to the West Bank as the Israel-Palestine conflict rages on. In the advisory, Gaza is under the “do not travel” recommendation due to civil unrest, armed conflict, and terrorism.
Following the events of Saturday, Israel had begun a campaign of airstrikes in Gaza, destroying buildings, leveling entire neighborhoods, and killing hundreds in the process. Leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Israeli warplanes continue to destroy concrete and flesh alike, mounting the suffering of Palestinians. According to the Gaza health ministry, the recent airstrikes have killed over 1,100 Palestinians, although the exact number remains unknown. Palestinian aid workers warn that Israel’s imposition of a complete siege on the crowded enclave harboring 2.3 million people is spawning a humanitarian catastrophe.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the main objective of the war is to completely eliminate Hamas. In a statement on Wednesday, Yoav Gallant said:
“We will wipe this thing called Hamas, ISIS-Gaza, off the face of the earth… It will cease to exist.”
Israel-Palestine Conflict – Israel Ministry of Tourism
On the other hand, the Israel Ministry of Tourism or IMOT, in the wake of this weekend’s Hamas attack, is working tirelessly to ensure the security and safety of tourists visiting the country. IMOT said in a statement issued on Tuesday that it was “deeply saddened by the events that took place at our southern border with Gaza on Saturday, October 7.”
“As a result of the events, the government has declared a state of emergency,” officials added. “The safety and security of our visitors is our top priority, and we are working to ensure their well-being in every way possible.”
Collaborating with relevant authorities, IMOT is working towards assisting those who wish to depart from Israel. Despite U.S. carriers suspending flights to Israel, the Ben Gurion Internal Airport remains open with many flights still departing Israel. During the address, the IMOT also confirmed that it’s operating a virtual office that can either be reached by WhatsApp (+972559726931) or via email at [email protected].
The ministry concluded by saying, “Travelers currently in Israel can dial 104 for information or contact Home Front Command on WhatsApp or SMS on +972529104104. IMOT will provide updates on travel to and around Israel as new information is available.”
With the Israel-Palestine conflict intensifying no one knows when it will be safe to travel to the regions again. Tourists stuck in the conflict zone can contact respective embassies and authorities to find safe passage back home. The Israel-Palestine conflict dates back to the 19th century and none among the two is willing to let down arms. In this time of unrest, one can only pray that the world reaches a state of peace and harmony, the two words that seem nonexistent as of now.