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Reviewed: 30 August 2013, 18.30 NZDT
Still current at: 07 December 2013
There is extreme risk to your security in the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza (including the waters off Gaza). We advise against all travel due to the threat from kidnapping, acts of terrorism and retaliatory military operations.
New Zealanders currently in Gaza are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.
There is extreme risk to your security in areas within 40 kilometres of Israel’s border with Gaza. We advise against all travel due to indiscriminate rocket fire from armed groups within Gaza.
There is extreme risk to your security in Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar located along the border with Lebanon (the “Blue Line”). We advise against all travel due to on-going military operations.
There is high risk to your security in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel due to the fragile security situation.
There is some risk to your security in Israel due to an on-going threat from terrorism and regional instabilities, and we advise caution. New Zealanders in Israel should also be aware that the on-going conflict in Syria is having a destabilising effect on the region, and that this could also affect the security situation in Israel. Security-related advice has been issued by the Israel Defence Forces Home Front Command.
Gaza (extreme risk)
We advise against all travel to Gaza (including the waters off Gaza). New Zealanders currently in Gaza are advised to depart when it is safe to do so.
In October 2012, an escalation in tensions resulted in a number of rocket attacks from within Gaza against Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Rocket attacks and Israeli military operations can take place at any time.
Tensions within Gaza remain high. Foreign nationals, including a New Zealander, have been kidnapped in Gaza in the past.
We strongly advise against any attempt to enter Gaza by sea in breach of Israeli navy restrictions or participating in any attempt to break the naval blockade, including participation in flotillas to deliver aid. The Israeli Navy conduct routine patrols of these waters and have made public undertakings to prevent any vessel attempting to breach restrictions.
New Zealanders who decide to travel and remain in Gaza against our advice should ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company (with experience in Gaza) for advice on security arrangements. Security arrangements should be reviewed on a regular basis. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely.
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Gaza, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who get into trouble is severely limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to the occupied Palestinian territories – exclusions may well apply.
West Bank (high risk)
We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to the West Bank. The security situation in the West Bank has improved significantly in recent years but remains fragile and could deteriorate with little notice.
New Zealanders in the West Bank are advised to monitor local information sources to keep up to date with events that could affect security. Travel at night should be avoided. Israeli military checkpoints exist throughout the West Bank and have in the past been flash points for violent incidents.
There is an ongoing threat from terrorism throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of populated centres, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. New Zealanders are advised to monitor developments through local media.
New Zealanders are advised to be security conscious at all times and extra vigilant in crowded or landmark places. Possible terrorist targets include (but are not limited to) hotels, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping areas, schools, places of worship, tourist sites, transport infrastructure, security checkpoints and areas where security forces are present.
In November 2012, a bomb was detonated on a bus in central Tel Aviv injuring 28 people.
In August 2012, there was an attack on the Keram Shalom border post at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Twenty people were killed in the attack.
In June 2012, gunmen travelled from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel and opened fire on a convoy of construction workers. One Israeli civilian was killed and two others injured in the attack.
New Zealanders are advised to avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as they have the potential to lead to violence.
There are ongoing tensions and at times incidents of violence between Israeli and Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Stone throwing and other violence is common, particularly around settlements and checkpoints.
New Zealanders who find themselves in an area affected by demonstrations, violence or military activity, should find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.
Areas of military activity should be avoided at all times and we recommend you adhere to any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities, such as curfews and travel restrictions, which may be imposed at times of unrest in Gaza and the West Bank.
New Zealanders should be aware that acts of terrorism anywhere in Israel may lead to military intervention in Gaza and the West Bank.
There are live landmines along the Israeli borders with Lebanon and Jordan, and in the Golan Heights and the West Bank. Some may not be marked, or clearly indicated. We recommend you stay on well used roads and paths in these areas.
Particular care should be exercised at border crossing points into and out of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, where tensions are particularly high. Instructions issued by the border authorities should be adhered to at all times.
Entry into and exit from the occupied Palestinian territories into Israel remains tightly controlled by the Israeli authorities. If you are a New Zealand national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport/travel document in order to leave. Such New Zealand/Palestinian dual nationals are permitted to travel abroad from the Gaza and West Bank only via the Rafah or Allenby Bridge border crossings.
The Rafah border crossing is in the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt where we advise against all travel due to the threat from terrorism and criminal activity. See the Egypt travel advisory for further information.
If you intend to travel to Gaza via the Rafah crossing there are restrictions and rules on crossing. The Rafah border crossing may open or close at short notice and may remain closed for extended periods. New Zealanders must receive permission from the Egyptian authorities to enter and exit Gaza and those that enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing must leave the same way. They also need to be prepared to delay their departure from Gaza for an extended period (possibly weeks) while waiting for approval from the Egyptian authorities to return to Egypt and for the crossing to open. The New Zealand Government cannot influence the granting of approval to use the crossing or when the border will open.
Travellers entering Israel via the Allenby Bridge crossing who indicate they are planning to travel to the West Bank may have their passports stamped “Palestinian Authority Only”. This stamp means the passport holder is restricted to West Bank destinations and prevented from entering Israel and Jerusalem. Travellers should be alert to the stamp they receive in their passport. Airport officials may require travellers to sign a form that prohibits them from entering the West Bank.
General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to avoid offending local sensitivities.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories should have comprehensive travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to the occupied Palestinian territories – exclusions may well apply.
New Zealanders in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Address: Kizkulesi Sokak No.11, Gaziosmanpasa, Ankara , Turkey
Telephone: + 90 312 446 3333 Facsimile: +90 312 446 3317
Website New Zealand Embassy Turkey [external link]
Office Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700
Contact details are
Street Address 3 Daniel Frish St 64731,
Tel Aviv, Israel
Telephone +972 3 695 1869 Facsimile +972 3 695 0817