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Safety for travelers in Israel right now

Kentfield...
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Safety for travelers in Israel right now

We have a trip planned from July 18-28. We're excited but also somewhat concerned about recent tension in the area. I'm well aware that Israel is mostly safe, and that trouble is limited to a few geographic spots. Even so, this seems to be a time of greater tension than usual: The NY TImes calls it the period of greatest tension in the past 10 years. So many things so close together: the murder of the Israeli teenagers, the revenge murder of the Palestinian teenager, the escalation of attacks in the disputed territories, the collapse of peace talks, the crazy talk throughout social networks, etc. I heard today from someone traveling in Israel now that tour groups are skipping the Western Wall for security reasons. What a disappointment - and perhaps a signal of the seriousness of things, if such a major tourist attraction is closed for business? I have to wonder, it still a good idea to take this trip now? I'm bringing my three children and parents, after all. Perhaps we should postpone?

We're traveling in a van for 10, with a reputable guide. Here is our itinerary. I'd appreciate it if someone that knows the country well would take a look and tell me if there are any safety concerns in any of these areas:

7/18 Arrival , transfer to Tel Aviv –overnight Art Plus

7/19 Free day to relax Tel Aviv –overnight Art Plus

7/20 Tour Jaffa and Tel Aviv, including, newe tzedek, Independence hall and more. –overnight Art Plus

7/21 Mediterranean Coast - Caesarea, Haifa, Akko - Overnight Kibbutz Ginnosar

7/22 Golan- Jeep ride, chocolate factory, kayaking in the Jordan river - Overnight Kibbutz Ginnosar

7/23 Safed, Capernaum, Nazareth - overnight Dan Boutique Jerusalem

7/24 Old city of Jerusalem - Tour the old city including mt. of Olives, western wall tunnels, Jewish and Christian qrt, western wall, church of the holy sephulcure - overnight Dan Boutique Jerusalem.

7/25 New city of Jerusalem - Yad vashem Holocaust memorial, machane yehuda main Market, ammunition hill - overnight Dan Boutique Jerusalem.

7/26 Dead Sea - visit Masada, swim in the dead sea and than drive to Eilat – over night Dan Panorama Eilat

7/27 Petra, return with a flight to Jerusalem

7/28 transfer home

Thank you so much.

Jerusalem, Israel
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1,151 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

The Western Wall is not closed. I have no idea where that idea came from. If you have a reputable guide, speak to him/her about the situation on the ground which is very different from the one shown in the international media. Your program is one that should not be affected by events here. You will have a wonderful visit.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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4,364 posts
68 reviews
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2. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

Western Wall closed? Nonsense. I was just there with a group yesterday.

In Jerusalem, if you were touring there today, I might suggest some small changes to your itinerary, but very minor. By the time you come, the situation here could be completely different - likely in a positive way.

I see no reason for you to cancel your trip. You're going to have a wonderful experience.

Jerusalem, Israel
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1,151 posts
25 reviews
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3. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

I suspect your biggest problem will be finding sufficient water for kayaking in the Jordan River following a drought year.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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341 posts
134 reviews
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4. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

You are wise to ask questions. But please rely on media other than the New York Times for responsible, fair and complete unbiased coverage on Israel.

Your itinerary looks great. You'll love it here.

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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14,742 posts
62 reviews
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5. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

One comment - no flights to Jerusalem. You are flying either to Ben Gurion or to Tel Aviv airport called Sde Dov. I guess it is Ben Gurion and transfer to Jerusalem. Its a 40-45 minutes drive.

Enjoy your trip. What a marvelous family experience.

Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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6,329 posts
89 reviews
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6. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

The Western wall....no. However there are times that the Temple Mount is closed. No one can predict when that will happen.

Israel
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for Israel
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14,246 posts
265 reviews
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7. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

Since you are traveling with a guide I would put the security issues solely in his hands. The media is not to be followed has giving true and accurate information. Keeping in mind that it wouldn't be news if it weren't sensational.

You will have a great time!

Chana

Israel

Israel
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for Israel
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15,765 posts
77 reviews
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8. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

I can only wonder - if you have contracted with a licensed guide to tour with you, why are you not consulting with him about your concerns? Or are you not satisfied with his answers? In either case that is a big question mark.

I can only add to what others have said -the Western Wall is not closed, have no idea where you heard that and seriously - do not use the US or world media as your major source of information - sadly they are not reliable.

Toronto, Canada
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835 posts
12 reviews
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9. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

Its after midnight and I just left the old city and walked through the Mamila moll, through the park on Agron street, and to our apartment near Ben yahuda with my 2 young children. The streets are full of people sitting in cafe's and walking the streets. I passed a peace rally earlier, and also hung out in the park with Arab and Jewish families watching the fountains. I'm well aware that there were ongoing problems last night in East Jerusalem. I won't go there.

Last night I was at the Kotel. All was fine. I hope things calm down before you come. I understand your concern as I almost stayed in the north and would have missed Jerusalem. I think the media reports don't convey the reality in Israel. Its best to check the Israeli media.

Pinetop-Lakeside...
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1,152 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Safety for travelers in Israel right now

And there you have it. I couldn't find anything about the Western Wall being closed either.

Enjoy your trip and rely only upon the local news to base your opinions upon.