If you are planning to travel to Jerusalem, you may have some questions regarding the current situation in the country. As a U.S. citizen, you need to know that there are certain restrictions when you are traveling to Israel. For example, you must be cleared by security officials. You should also know that you can find a bus to get you around the city.
Israel is a target for terrorism, rocket fire, and military confrontation
It was a difficult time when the conflict in Gaza broke out in May 2018. There were rocket and mortar fires as well as ground assaults. Several of those attacks targeted civilians.
In response, Israel imposed more than fifty air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. During the 11-day fighting, at least thirteen Israelis were killed and 360 Palestinians, including 151 children.
The United Nations estimates that the conflict has displaced at least 72,000 Palestinians. Moreover, several tunnels are located in the Gaza Strip, which could be used to carry out attacks inside Israel.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terror group that Iran has financed, fired over a hundred rockets into Israel. It has also launched several suicide attacks, killing over twenty people.
Security screening of U.S. citizens in Israel
The security screening of U.S. citizens at Israeli airports is a bit different than at other international destinations. A brief discussion with an airport security agent might be all you need to understand the security protocols.
Security at Israeli airports is quite stringent. Security agents personally question passengers before checking in. Passenger luggage is subjected to an x-ray machine. Some low-risk passengers bypass the x-ray machines.
Although the name of a gimmick involving a USB stick is not likely to be mentioned, the new TSA PreCheck program is a good start. More than 80 domestic and international carriers now take part in the program.
In addition to checking for the TSA precheck program, you may need to pass various other security checks before boarding your plane. This includes giving through a checkpoint at the entrance of the terminal.
Travel restrictions in Israel
To visit Israel, you must comply with the country’s rules and regulations. For instance, you will need to obtain a visa before entering the country if you are not an Israeli citizen.
You should also make sure to carry health insurance. The Israeli government will provide health insurance for visitors, but you will need proof that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses.
Another good travel tip is to sign up for an alert service like TravelHealthPro. This will alert you to any changes in the rules and regulations of your travel destination. Checking these before making any plans is essential so that you will not be surprised by any changes.
In addition, you should always follow the directions of your travel agent. They should provide information on all aspects of the trip.
Currency in the Palestinian Territories
The Palestinian Monetary Authority, or PMA, is the de facto central bank of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. Its main objective is to become a modern central bank for the independent State of Palestine.
One of the main challenges the PMA faces is dealing with surplus cash in the Palestinian market. According to data released by the PMA, more than NIS 300 billion in cash has entered the market in the last ten years.
This may not be an imposing figure, but it represents more than four billion shekels or about 1.3 billion dollars. The accumulated amount is causing a financial crisis in the Palestinian market.
To address this problem, the PMA has implemented some measures to prevent currency accumulation. However, there is still room for improvement.
The bus system in Israel
Israelis can travel to Jerusalem on buses. There are a variety of buses that travel through the city. The Israeli bus system is an excellent alternative to driving if you want to travel between cities.
In most cities, the average price of a local bus trip is just 6 NIS. This is the same price as a taxi. A private transfer is more expensive. You can also take a shared mini-van taxi for a lower price.
Jerusalem Light Rail opened in 2011 and is an alternative way to get into the city center. Tickets are available at the stops. On weekends, the light rail service operates on a different schedule. After sunset, the trains resume their journey.
Busing is common in divided Jerusalem. However, it cannot be easy to find transportation during the Sabbath.