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Validity & Expiration Dates: Israel requires that passports be valid up to six months past the entrance date to Israel. So even if you are planning on visiting Israel with a valid passport in August 2012, your passport must be valid until at least Feb. 2013.
Middle Eastern Travel: Many countries in the Middle East will not grant you entrance and refuse to issue you a travel visa to stay if you have an entry or exit stamp from Israel. Coming by air, Israel does not stamp your passport anymore but supply a visa slip instead of the visa stamp (which you are obligated to keep until exiting the country). Coming through a land border crossing, ask in advance not to be stamped - the Israeli officers will usually agree to not stamp your passport. This is helpful only if you are not going into or leaving Jordan by land. Once Jordan stamps yor passport at an Israeli-Jordan crossing, even if Israel doesn't stamp it would be obvious where you were. The only remedy if your passport does get stamped would be to either wait for it to expire or request a new passport from your home country.
Air: Ben Gurion (near Tel Aviv, serves the entire country) and Ovda (Eilat) airports,
Land; from Egypt: Eilat/Taba, from Jordan: Eilat/Aqaba ("Arava" or "Yitzhak Rabin"), Allenby ("King Hussein Bridge") and Beit She'an ("Jordan River" or "Sheikh Hussein Bridge", northern Jordan valley). There are no crossing points from Lebanon or Syria.