Back

Country Reports

Israel Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The resignation of Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 14 November in protest over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Gaza policy significantly increases the likelihood that early elections will be held before the mandated November 2019 date. Netanyahu is likely to hold elections in early 2019, and his Likud party appears well-placed to remain the single largest party. A ceasefire arrangement between Israel and Hamas on 13 November is likely to hold with the support of Egyptian mediation and Palestinian Gulf-based donors, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, reducing the likelihood of further escalation in three-month outlook. There is a high risk of low-capability attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, mostly involving Palestinians driving vehicles into pedestrians or perpetrating shooting and knife attacks. The uncoordinated nature of the attacks makes them difficult for the security forces to prevent. Israeli willingness to use significant force against Hizbullah and allied Iranian non-state armed groups in southern Syria presents very high risk of sudden escalation into broader conflict involving not just Syria but also Lebanon. Israel's priority is to prevent Iran from opening a second front in southwest Syria near the occupied Golan Heights, concurrent with Hizbullah's existing capability to wage war from Lebanese territory, and to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hizbullah through Syria. A war with Hizbullah, the first since 2006, would pose a very high risk of severe damage to civilian infrastructure in northern Israel. Real GDP growth is forecast to be 3.5% in 2019 through a fairly broad-based economic expansion, with some upside by 2020 as additional natural gas capacity comes online. Domestic demand remains fairly healthy as consumer fundamentals are strong, but slowing external demand poses downside risk to export growth. The governing coalition passed a two-year budget in March 2018, prioritising defence and education, insulating it from internal disagreements over proposed tax increases. © 2018, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Last update: December 12, 2018

Operational Outlook

Israel's operational environment is conducive to business, with few restrictions on foreign investment, but regulatory burden is a consistent impediment for business registration and construction permit approval. Transport and communications infrastructure is advanced, and the labour market is highly skilled but highly unionised. Corruption is probably present in public procurement, but it is not institutional – the judiciary in particular is largely free from external influence in litigation, but contract enforcement can frequently take years. Companies operating in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory risk EU boycott and sanctions.

Last update: October 9, 2018

Terrorism

Very high

There is a high risk of uncoordinated, low-capability attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, mostly involving Palestinians or Israeli Arabs driving vehicles into crowds of pedestrians or perpetrating shooting and knife attacks targeting IDF personnel and civilians. The uncoordinated nature of the attacks makes them difficult for the security forces to prevent. There is a high risk of Islamist cells in the West Bank plotting sophisticated attacks on civilian targets in Israel, but the risk of higher-capability suicide and IED attacks is mitigated by the IDF's tight control over access to the West Bank and Gaza Strip and extensive network of informants.

Last update: November 28, 2018

War Risks

In 2018, Israel has demonstrated willingness to resort to military force and risk war with neighbouring countries. Israel's 'red line' is intended to prevent Iranian forces and allied non-state armed groups from establishing a permanent presence near the occupied Syrian Golan. Any limited conflict involving Israeli operations against Iranian and Hizbullah forces in Syria carries a very high risk of spilling over into Lebanon, despite neither Israel nor Hizbullah currently seeking such a war. There would be severe risk of damage to civilian infrastructure in northern Israel from projectiles fired from Syria and Lebanon. Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown willingness to avoid military escalation in Gaza.

Last update: November 30, 2018

Social Stability

High

Violent protests are highly probable in Gaza and, to a lesser extent, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on 14 May 2018 will likely be used to justify violent protests at the Gazan border fence,, as will any US attempts to propose a likely pro-Israeli peace settlement. 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.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Health Risk

Elevated

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

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).

Other Vaccinations

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.

Last update: December 2, 2013

Natural Risks

Elevated

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.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

High

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.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Winters are generally mild and summers are hot and humid. Rain can fall between November and March, sometimes even into May.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +972
Police: 100
Fire Dept.: 102
Ambulance: 101

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: December 10, 2013