Israel Country Report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing/religious coalition government is likely to prioritise a pro-settler national security agenda. The main risk to coalition stability stems from a potential indictment of Netanyahu amid corruption investigations. Israel's missile defence systems are likely to intercept most rockets from Gaza. Hizbullah, however, is likely to be able to fire rockets at rates that would at least partly overwhelm their capacity, posing a severe risk to population centres in the event of another war. Israel and Hizbullah's increased war preparedness and Hizbullah's gains in the Syrian conflict increase the risk of war. There is a very high risk of uncoordinated, low-capability attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Labour disputes are frequent but are usuallyresolved in labour courts rather than through strikes.
Israel's operational environment is generally conducive to business, with few restrictions on foreign investment. Transport and communications infrastructure is advanced, and the labour market is highly skilled. However, entrenched union interests have shown their intent and capability to disrupt the ports and electricity sectors in particular. Corruption tends to be at high level, increasing business costs but generally not impeding day-to-day operations. Companies operating in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are vulnerable to activist pressure, reputational risk, and increasing risk of EU boycott and sanctions.
Israel's Iron Dome air defence system is likely to neutralise most rockets from Gaza. The greater number rockets available to Hizbullah, however, would be likely to overwhelm the Iron Dome and the David's Sling air defence system in the event of a renewed Hizbullah-Israeli war, particularly if these assets were deployed on multiple fronts. Coverage of strategic targets including Haifa Port and Ben Gurion Airport are likely to be prioritised over populated areas. There is a very high risk of individual unco-ordinated attacks by Palestinians, typically involving knives and small arms, targeting IDF personnel and civilians, while the risk of IED attacks will remain low.
Although neither Israel nor Hizbullah currently sees war as a favourable option, the increased military preparedness of the two sides and the advances of the Iran and Hizbullah-backed Syrian government in the civil war increase the risk of such a conflict. As Israel continues to engage in air strikes targeting Hizbullah weapons depots and convoys, Hizbullah will come under increased pressure to retaliate militarily, and may well miscalculate the extent of Israeli retaliation. A war would involve widespread damage to population centres in northern Israel from mass rocket attacks, while severely disrupting commercial activity.
Violent protests are highly probable in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Besides usual triggers such as settler attacks on Palestinians or perceived Israeli aggression at Muslim holy sites, the decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem will probably intensify violence. Protesters will probably throw stones and petrol bombs, with Israeli security forces responding with tear gas and, less frequently, live fire. Labour disputes are frequent across Israel, with short strikes most probably affecting ports and airports.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The Jordan Rift Valley forms the northern part of the Great Rift Valley, which is at the tectonic border of the African and Asian plates. It is a seismic zone. The last recorded earthquake of note occurred in May 2014 and registered as magnitude 4.1 on the Richter scale. No major earthquake has struck the country since its founding in 1948.
Flooding can occur in the country during the winter, especially in the southern region of Negev.
Sand and dust storms occasionally occur and can reduce visibility as well as disrupt traffic.
For security reasons, people traveling to Israel can be randomly selected for questioning upon arrival. If this occurs, cooperate with authorities and remain patient. Israeli airlines implement strict security procedures and long wait times at airports are common.
Roads are in good condition, however driving can be difficult due to differing norms (e.g. signaling, changing lanes, merging) and aggressive drivers. In the West Bank, it is advised to remain extremely vigilant due to poorly maintained roads in rural areas. Moreover, it is advisable to allow additional time for travel due to the presence of checkpoints on major roads, especially near Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nablus. Collective taxis called "service" are the only available public transport in the Palestinian Territories.
A railway network connects the cities of Nahariya, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Beer-Sheva, as well as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Winters are generally mild and summers are hot and humid. Rain can fall between November and March, sometimes even into May.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz