Travel insurance for

Palestine-Gaza And The West Bank

Country Risk Code:

Extreme

Palestine is an extreme risk country. The West Bank and especially Gaza are conflict destinations where several security concerns including political violence and strained medical infrastructure pose serious risks to travelers, especially amid the Israeli air and ground assault against Hamas following the October 7 incursion by Hamas. Travel to these areas should be avoided.

Palestine and Israel Border Conflict: Defer non-essential travel to Palestine due to Israeli military operations. Israel continues to carry out ground operations, air and drone strikes affecting all of Gaza. Occasional rocket barrages are launched from Gaza, targeting Israel’s Southern District and cities further north, including Tel Aviv. Israel has also implemented a lockdown across the West Bank and drastically increased raids across the territory. The Israeli government formally declared war on Hamas on 8 October 2023 and a state of emergency remains in effect until further notice. On 29 April, Israeli sources reported that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief approved the final plans for a ground military operation in Rafah and several other refugee camps in central Gaza. Ceasefire negotiations broke down in Cairo, Egypt during evening hours on 5 May after Hamas accepted the deal and Israeli representatives refused. Israeli military operations began in Rafah on 6th May 2024.

Essential Precautions: 

•Avoid traveling through unlit areas or traveling alone at night 

• Keep track of bags, purses, and backpacks 

• Avoid demonstrations and protests, as they can often turn violent 

• Avoid markets and shopping areas, government buildings, places of worship, and military/police installations 

• Do not photograph government buildings or military installations

Insurance becomes a priority if you intend to travel or work in Palestine. Traveling to Palestine presents several risks and challenges due to the ongoing political conflict and security situation in the region. The situation can change rapidly, so it\'s essential to consult up-to-date travel advisories from your government or reliable sources like the U.S. State Department, UK Foreign Office, or your country\'s equivalent. Here are some factors to consider:

Political Situation: Palestine, particularly the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has been a site of long-standing political conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Travelers should be aware of the political tensions and potential for unrest, demonstrations, and violence. The situation can change rapidly, so it\'s important to stay informed about current events and follow guidance from local authorities and international organizations.

Security Concerns: The West Bank and Gaza are extreme-risk areas for travelers, especially amid the Israeli air and ground assault against Hamas following the October 7 incursion into Israel by Hamas. The security environment is hostile and unpredictable. Demonstrations are highly likely across both Gaza and the West Bank, particularly at Israeli checkpoints and settlements, and rallies are common in East Jerusalem. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza exacerbates the intensity of demonstrations, which often involve violence. Hamas, classified as a terror group by the US and EU, often targets civilian and military infrastructure in southern Israel with rocket attacks, while members of other extremist groups have conducted deadly knife attacks on civilians in the West Bank in recent years. While most acts of domestic terrorism are directed against Israeli interests, Western nationals, government offices, and businesses are sporadically targeted. The risk of kidnapping, especially along the Gaza-Israel border by Hamas and other militants, remains high. Emergency response services are poor and under-resourced, and curfews and security checkpoints are frequently imposed. Visitors are strongly discouraged from attending any demonstrations, and Israeli checkpoints and settlements should be avoided. Sexual harassment of women is common. Vehicle theft is a serious problem. There is a high risk of terror attacks in the West Bank and Gaza. 

Medical and Health Risks: The healthcare systems in the West Bank and Gaza are notoriously poor due to a lack of medical supplies, training, and professional staff. Rabies, leishmaniasis, and typhoid pose risks in the area. West Nile virus outbreaks occur from August to October, but cases are rare. Medical facilities in Gaza lack basic medicines and equipment, and staff are often poorly trained. Travelers may be required to provide proof of insurance or pay upfront fees for treatment. The Palestinian Territories have a prevalence of over 25 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. The tap water is not safe to drink. 

Travel Restrictions: Movement within the West Bank and Gaza Strip may be restricted by Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and barriers. Travelers may encounter delays, searches, and questioning at checkpoints, and access to certain areas may be limited or prohibited, particularly in areas under Israeli control. It\'s important to carry appropriate identification and travel documents at all times.

Cultural Sensitivities: Palestine has a rich cultural and religious heritage, and travelers should be respectful of local customs, traditions, and beliefs. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative communities, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities when interacting with locals.

Communication: English and Arabic are widely spoken in Palestine, but communication may still be challenging, especially in rural areas and among older generations. Learning some basic Arabic phrases can help facilitate communication and show respect for the local culture.

Border Crossings and Entry Restrictions: Entry into Palestine may be subject to restrictions and controls, particularly for travelers entering via Israel. Israeli authorities control the borders, checkpoints, and crossings into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and travelers may encounter delays, searches, and questioning when crossing into Palestinian territories. It\'s important to familiarize yourself with entry requirements and border procedures before traveling to Palestine.

Humanitarian Situation: Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank face humanitarian challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and limited access to basic services such as electricity, water, and healthcare. Travelers should be sensitive to the humanitarian situation and exercise empathy and respect when interacting with local communities.

Travel Safety Advice: Travelers to Palestine should stay informed about the current security situation and follow guidance from local authorities, international organizations, and diplomatic missions. It\'s advisable to avoid areas with a history of violence or unrest, including refugee camps and areas near military checkpoints or settlements. Travelers should also be cautious when discussing political issues and avoid engaging in sensitive topics or debates with locals.

Overall, traveling to Palestine requires careful consideration and preparation due to the complex political and security situation in the region. It\'s advisable to research the latest travel advisories, consult with local contacts or tour operators, and maintain flexibility in travel plans to adapt to changing circumstances. Additionally, registering with your embassy or consulate before traveling to Palestine can provide access to important updates and assistance in case of emergencies.

Choosing the right cover for your trip to Palestine

Many insurers exclude cover for travel to Palestine. It is vital to check that your policy includes journeys to this nation. Ascertain that your policy coverage includes medical expenses, repatriation, crisis management, and kidnap for ransom cover. The healthcare systems in the West Bank and Gaza are notoriously poor due to a lack of medical supplies, training, and professional staff. It will be necessary to evacuate you for medical and other critical care.

Required Vaccinations: 

• None 

Pre-Trip Checklist: 

• Carry a copy of your passport 

• Bring a necessary supply of prescription medication 

• Bring a copy of your prescription in case medication is lost or stolen 

• Use a VPN on all internet-connected devices and download the VPN prior to travel

LGBT travel advice for Palestine

In Palestine, the situation for LGBTQ+ individuals is complex due to social, cultural, and political factors. Overall, LGBTQ+ travelers to Palestine should be aware of the social and cultural context and the lack of legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. It\'s advisable to research local laws and customs, avoid overt displays of affection in public, and exercise discretion when discussing one\'s sexual orientation or gender identity. Connecting with local LGBTQ+ communities or support networks may provide additional insights and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers visiting Palestine.