Posting here for traffic. Travelling from Israel into Jericho...any advice?

(100 Posts)
minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 18:43:50

Visiting Israel next week, with DS, who's seven. Both on UK passports, and we're hoping to fit in a day trip to Jericho, which is in the Palestinian Territories. I know we'll be alright as Brits and tourists, but I'm wondering if anyone's had any hassle getting out of Ben Gurion airport on the way you get a stamp in your passport upon entering Palestine? Etc etc...

Thanks a lot!

ScottishInSwitzerland Tue 21-Jan-14 18:47:49

I'm posting so I can find thread again.
My mum used to do charity work in Palestine so I will check with her.

I know they often got grief but not sure if it was the simple fact of going over the 'border' or if it was because of the work they did

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 18:52:41

Thanks for that...looking forward to you getting back to me.

splasheeny Tue 21-Jan-14 18:54:56

They will be very suspicious. I know friends who were taken for questioning and detained just for not answering questions right at border. I would highly advise against.

Also have you thought about how safe it is to go into the Palestinian territories?

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 18:58:13

All the current advice and info points towards Jericho being a safe tourist spot...both sides like to keep it that way because it's such an attraction.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 18:59:09

It's got a cable car lift! And cafés!
Or am I just being naive?!

splasheeny Tue 21-Jan-14 19:00:11

The situation can quickly change so I would exercise caution. If you are happy for the hassle at the border then go for it though.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 19:02:43

I'll take a view on the day we plan to go.
Staying with chums in Tel Aviv, so chances are they or their friends will know better than us and will deter us if they think it's too dodge!

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 19:07:18

Too dodgy on that day, that is...I'm not ignoring your advice, Splash.

eeyore2 Tue 21-Jan-14 19:12:40

I went once for the day, there was no passport stamp. It was easy.

MsAspreyDiamonds Tue 21-Jan-14 19:14:35

One of my colleagues regularly travels to Israel & Palestine and has to have two British passports. As apparantly he can't enter Israel with a Palestinian stamp and vice versa. It is best to check with the foreign office website to see what they advise.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 19:17:14

Thanks, Asprey. That's the sort of thing I'm looking for.

MsAspreyDiamonds Tue 21-Jan-14 19:17:32
minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 19:18:00

There's a bus service, though....
It's really bonkers.

MsAspreyDiamonds Tue 21-Jan-14 19:21:08

I can ask my colleague tomorrow as he is a frequent traveller to Israel for work purposes.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 19:24:50

You're all being very kind, thank you.
I'm quite prepared to sack off the idea if necessary, so don't worry about us!!!

dogindisguise Tue 21-Jan-14 19:55:01

We visited Nablus when we were in holiday in Israel and didn't have any trouble. We didn't receive a stamp when going into the West Bank. We were with a tour group and I don't know if that made any difference.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 19:59:49

I have just got back. We visited Jericho. We were going to ask for a stamp on a separate piece of paper but they automatically gave us a separate slip with a bar code to get in. You probably know but you need to keep your passports on you at all times. It is far worse for the Palestinians.

splasheeny Tue 21-Jan-14 20:02:17

If you aren't already going, the dead sea and masada are great alternatives.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:03:03

Just re read the op. You will be fine on a day trip. There may be a checkpoint on the way back in but it will not affect you, with British passports.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:05:57

Just re read the op. You will be fine on a day trip. There may be a checkpoint on the way back in but it will not affect you, with British passports.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 20:32:20

Splash...our friends will take us to Jerusalem for a day, so if need be, that'll satisfy our need for very old cities (DS' big thing at the moment).
We'll also go to a beach and spend a day in the city.

Bearsandtoys Tue 21-Jan-14 20:39:42

I went 3 yrs ago from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, through the checkpoint. It was fine, we were obviously tourists. No passport stamps.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:40:41

Found you!
I couldn't find this thread.
Pm me op and I will give you local knowledge and prices.
You shouldn't have any problems with uk passports.
Jericho was the biggest disappointment of our trip; make sure that you want to go up the cable car.
Trip to Masada and the Dead Sea was S240.
Dead Sea is fine in January and May be more memorable for Dcs.
No problems with checkpoints as long as you keep your passports with you and you are not Palestinian. If you are Palestinian be prepared to be treated like a black in apartheid South Africa.

Bearsandtoys Tue 21-Jan-14 20:40:58

By the way, Jerusalem is AMAZING, I'm so jealous! The wailing wall is fantastic and I suggest you go to the via dolorosa (stations of the cross) for some good people watching.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:06:50

I know, bears! I have just returned and I am still walking on air.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 21:11:09

Must admit, I'm really stoked to be going.
Totally non-religious....but the history!!!!!
Amazing. A real melting pot of people and trade, as well as science and education.... Very excited indeed!!

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 21-Jan-14 21:11:30

YABU. If you want "traffic", why don't you post in a travel forum?

This one is good biscuit

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 21-Jan-14 21:11:55
minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 21:12:21

I'm not sure what you mean, Holla.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:12:56

Just read the travel advice. I visited refugee camps and I took Dcs to show them the horrific conditions. The Palestinians want the world to know about conditions in the camps.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:16:38

They don't have enough food and hardly any employment. Only one in ten has a permit to enter Jerusalem. Sick Palestinians are turned away at the checkpoints when they need medical treatment. Quite apart from anything else, the Palestinians are suffering from appalling mental health due to the oppressive occupation.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:28:31

No checkpoint going into the occupied territories. Checkpoint on the wAy back in but no stamp on passport, although passport will need to be shown.

tertle Tue 21-Jan-14 21:40:10

You'll be fine. I visited Israel in July last year and we went to Bethlehem for the day. Our passports were checked on leaving but they weren't stamped.
Have a great time! It's a fascinating place.

bolshieoldcow Tue 21-Jan-14 21:43:23

Acco/Acre is also interesting - and not across the green line. Old crusader town with quite a mixed population. You'll have a great time wherever you go, Israel's a fab country despite its problems. And the food…mmmmmmmm

Jealous now.

My DB lived in Palestine and we recently visited him out there flying in to the airport at Tel Aviv. I won't lie, it was intense!
Be prepared for a lot of questioning at the borders.

My DB advised us not to mention our intentions to visit any if the Palestinian territories when going through passport control as it will only encourage more questioning, and even possible rejection of entry to the country.

Going through the check points at more touristy areas such as Bethlehem isn't as bad.

You will also have a thorough questioning, luggage check at the airport on your flight home too!!

Amazing amazing place though!

Latara Tue 21-Jan-14 21:47:29

Wow a place called Jericho actually exists! I didn't know that!

PS. I'd love to visit Israel and Jordan too.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 21:47:41

Fab advice, ladies! And I'm so glad you told me that, IfAt, because I was going to ask about going to Jericho while at the airport!

Oh, no passport stamp entering or leaving Palestine.
Getting in to Palestine is a doddle, getting back in to Israel much much tougher!

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 21:49:08

There's a Jericho just down the road from us (Oxford) and it's blowing DS' little mind to think he's going to a 10,000 year old one!

Shakshuka Tue 21-Jan-14 21:49:08

You won't have any problems going to Jericho, it's very quiet there. Even Bethlehem should be OK. I'd be careful about Ramallah, Nablus and especially Hebron which can be very tense. I'd also agree however that there's not much to do or see in Jericho (although there's a fantastic hike to a monastery nearby called Wadi Qelt).

You shouldn't get any stamps passing into the Palestinian Authority. I never heard of that. They don't have border control as such. It's more of a checkpoint but with British passports you should be fine (Israeli citizens are restricted entering Palestinian Authority and Palestinians are restricted entering Israel).

You may be questioned a bit about your visit to the PA and definitely tell the truth about where you've been (if you lie and they find out they'll assume the worst!). If you're going only for touristic purposes you really should be fine. The biggest concern is that someone could have slipped something into your luggage (a bit patronisingly assuming that you're so innocent and gullible that you'd go along with it).

We go to Israel almost every year and lived in Jerusalem for many years. Also have a 7 year old so happy to give you tips of where to go and what we've enjoyed.

No idea about Jericho but we walked across the Israeli border from Egypt with ease. Getting back into Egypt about 6 hours later with an Israeli passport stamp however, was a nightmare!

I don't think many countries like an Israeli stamp in your passport, we were advised by travel agent to get new passports. Especially as we holiday in Middle East quite often.

If you can and are willing to put up with the check points, please please visit some of the amazing parts of Palestine - you won't regret it!

Acko/Acre is beautiful. Jerusalem full of history, Bethlehem - very touristy but fabulous and you get to see some of the amazing graffiti on the wall.
My DB lived in Ramala and that was a lovely city, he also took us to Hebron - eye opening hmm

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 21:57:51

Apparently they're using temporary cards now, instead of stamping your passport.
Wow, guys, thanks so much for the advice!

Shakshuka Tue 21-Jan-14 22:01:22

There is absolutely no way I'd take my kids to Hebron.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 22:02:06

Didn't understand your post, Holla

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 22:03:54

No problem going to Hebron, or Nablus. There is about to be a third intifada but uk citizens will not be targeted.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 21-Jan-14 22:06:55

I meant that I personally find "posting here for traffic" really annoying, lazy and stupid. Why don't you post in the right place? there's a travel forum on here and a whole big internet out there.

No, nobody made me the thread police, and yes, I am telling you where to post. So sue me. smile

Shakshuka Tue 21-Jan-14 22:08:12

Sorry, Chipping, I completely disagree.

You do not want to be in Hebron or Nablus with a 7 year old child, even as a British citizen, if things kick off.

It'd be totally irresponsible. Hamas in Gaza had no problems kidnapping foreign journalists. You don't know how a situation can deteriorate.

ScottishInSwitzerland Tue 21-Jan-14 22:09:48

Looks like you've had some good advice here

My mum had two passports just in case and skua because as another poster said its awkward going anywhere else in the Middle East if you have an Israel stamp on your passport.

I agree with what other posters said about the appalling conditions the Palestinians are subjected to. Some of the stories my mum told me broke my heart.

But if I'm honest I wouldn't take my own children to take those things so I can't in all honesty try to convince you to do that.

I agree you should be fine in touristy areas. Please try to spend money in some of the Palestinian shops. There really is such abject poverty over there and very little chance for many to make a decent living

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 22:11:47

Well, then you won't mind my telling you to ignore this thread then, will you?
I'd had a look at some travel forums and decided I wanted some quick digested advice from people more like me...not hugely experienced outside Europe and travelling with children.

There'll be no solicitor's letter, I really wouldn't want to drag you away from your happy place.

Apart from you, it's been a lovely thread.

Shakshuka Tue 21-Jan-14 22:20:19

You should have added in a question about parking, using disabled toilets or folding up buggies minou grin

Sorry, I agree with a lot of the posters. Although I've encouraged you to see some of Palestinian sights, I wouldn't advise it with a DC. If you do fancy exploring stick to the more touristy areas.

minouminou Tue 21-Jan-14 22:41:48

Ok, off to bed now.
Thanks very much for all your help, ladies.
I'd say it's 60/40 in favour of not going at the moment, but I'll keep you posted.

Shakshuka Tue 21-Jan-14 22:47:26

You're probably best off talking to people once you're in Israel and seeing what you can do and what they think.

Have a great time!!!

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 21-Jan-14 23:50:08

She is not going to Hebron and I still don't understand your post.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:04:42

Because you seem to be suggesting that it's perfectly safe to take a 7 year old to Hebron and Nablus because you took your DC to refugee camps. It's not. In fact, it's very dangerous. A British passport is not some of kind of automatic protection.

I'm sure the South Sudanese also want the world to know about conditions in refugee camps there, yet I wouldn't take my DC there to find out.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:12:27

Have just taken Dcs to refugee Cannes and the Palestians would like us to do the same. It is not dangerous at all.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:14:49

I have very strong feeling about the illegal, immoral and evil occupation of Palestine. But all that aside I don't think its a good idea and you should go.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:19:23

Haven't been to South Sudan so can't comment. have visited two Palestinian refugee camps with dc and the Palestinians are absolutely desperate that their plight is made public.
The op is only going to Jericho on a tour and will have no problems so let's not spoil her trip.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:24:29

Your experience (presumably being given a tour) in one particular refugee camp (and they're not really refugee camps any more given that they've been there for nearly 70 years - some of them are basically suburbs of cities, and yes, I have been to refugee camps in the West Bank and Jerusalem) does NOT mean it's safe to visit Hebron and Nablus (or indeed generalize to EVERY Palestinian refugee camp) with children.

Why not just take them to see how the Palestinians are living in Syria and Lebanon? There are some fantastic refugee camps there as well and it'll be a real eye opener to see how they're treated there. Since it's perfectly safe to visit refugee camps, right? The Syrian refugees living in Zaatari refugee camp just over the border in Jordan are also desperate for the world to know about their living conditions, please do take your DC there as well.

Sorry, I think you're quite naive if you think that Hebron and Nablus are safe to visit with children just because you felt safe going to one particular refugee camp. You have no idea about the instability, both in terms of the relations with Israel and within internal factions as well.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:26:57

Have lived in a refugee camp, thanks.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:28:50

Have visited refugee camps in Jordan, too.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:30:39

Shaksuka do you think 70 years living in a refugee camp improves the situation.

The situation in Syria is dire and the most vulnerable are suffering as a result. This goes for conflicts.

Bottom line Don't Go

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:37:19

Yes, of course it makes a difference.

It's over-crowded but there are cement houses, connection to public water, many connected to public sewage, established schools, hospitals etc. There are far worse slums in many cities around the world. UNRWA is well established and funded and provides many services which many other similarly deprived populations don't get.

I'm not saying there's not injustice. Of course there needs to be a permanent and just solution (this isn't the thread for that). But these are not refugee camps in the way, for example, Zaatari, is a refugee camp with tents and horrendous living conditions. The collapse of the Palestinian economy is a direct result of the intifada and I'd agree with tourists supporting Palestinian enterprises as much as possible but they're not in poverty because they're in refugee camps (like in Zaatari for eg) but because the economy has collapsed.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:38:21

66 years.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:41:27

Shakshuka your moral compass is so far off its unbelievable.

Your blaming Palestinians for having an uprising, how long should they wait and suffer?

Is 66 years not enough, the temerity of those bastards wanting freedom who do they think they are.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:46:02

Yeah, OK. I think you should start another thread if you want a political argument. My moral compass is just fine.

BTW, Israel has only occupied the Palestinian territories since 1967. What happened before then? Why was there no Palestinian state in the WB and Gaza Strip in 1948?

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:49:36

Those Arabs! The Muslims can piss off to Saudi Arabia and the Christians can piss off to Rome.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:50:39

I don't understand comment chipping. It seemed rather racist.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:51:13

What bothers me most about the arguments you use is that doesn't even try to recognise the Palestinian people have no right to return to the home.

You use semantics to avoid talking about theft, evil and suffering.

Does your argument negate the fact that an entire nation of people have been evicted. Do you feel better. Or do you not care.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:51:46


Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 00:52:51

My ! Was to Shak, after the accusation of racism.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:53:40

Racist, is evicting an entire nation of people and only letting another race live there.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:54:43

What about the one million Jews who were expelled from Arab countries around the same time? Are you equally upset by the injustice that they suffered?

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:55:28

Of course I am

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 00:57:38

20% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian citizens. So clearly other races are allowed to lvie there.

What do you think the Palestinains would have done to the Jewish population of Israel if they'd have won in 1947-8? Do you think they'd have sat down and sung kumbaya with them?

The creation of the State of Israel was a tragedy for the Palestinians, no doubt. But if the Arabs would have won, the tragedy would have been on the other foot. By 1947/8 it was too late for compromise.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 00:59:40

They have no choice! The state of Israel has taken away their homeland.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 01:03:22

You think middle East is like Europe, there weren't pogroms in Jordan or Yemen. Iran still has its Jewish population.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 01:07:38

Shakshuka if you want to continue talking you can PM me I am off to sleep.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:12:34

There were pogroms in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Algeria!!!

Jews were EXPELLED from Iraq and lost all their property.

Iran is very different, it's not an Arab country and has a completely different society.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 01:19:17

After 1948, Jews left Europe during the Spanish inquisition to seek sanctuary in the Muslim world.

The change was a direct result of the 1948 war, prior Muslims, Jews and Christians lived far more harmoniously than in Europe.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 01:22:27

You know whats happening to the Palestinians is evil, your excuse is it would be worse if they had won the war.

When apartheid ended people thought white people would be massacred 20 years on things are much better.

When slavery ended they thought freed slaves would try to enact revenge.

Let's try and loom for a solution for everyone.

TheXxed Wed 22-Jan-14 01:23:06

Like I said PM me.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 01:26:28

The 20 percent who live in Israel are treated as sub citizens, see apartheid. As for the rest of them...

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:27:48

No, you're right that there wasn't genocide in the Arab world. So that's OK then. hmm although you can google the 'farhud' to see that there was shit going on before 1948. And expelling Jews from Iraq because of the creation of the State of Israel (what has Iraq got to do with Israel exactly?) seems slightly racist.

Anyway, I didn't intend to get into a political argument, just responding to the attacks that inevitably result if someone doesn't agree that Israel is the big satan responsible for all the woes of the world. Generally life is a bit more complicated than that.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 01:28:52

I know!
A two State solution!
Now why did no one ever think of THAT before?

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:31:23


That's blatantly untrue and you have clearly been swallowing the Palestinian propaganda hook, line and sinker.

There are Arab members of the knesset, there are Arabs working in the civil service in senior positions, there are senior Arab doctors, there are senior Arab professors.

Israeli Arabs have full civil and legal rights.

There is NO apartheid in Israel. What a ridiculous thing to say. The situation in the Palestinian territories is bad but that is completely different to saying there is apartheid in Israel.

Not true and total slander.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:34:59

Exactly - a two state solution.

Which was first proposed in 1937 and most roundly rejected by the Arabs!!

And then the UN partition plan. Again, rejected by the Arabs.

Because they thought they'd win the war so why compromise?

Sometimes when you gamble like that, you get it wrong.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:39:25

Sorry OP. i didn't mean to hijack your thread, it wasn't my intention. It seems to have descended into the usual Israel bashing but I guess that's inevitable.


Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 01:40:14

I know and have worked with Israeli-Palestinians.
I have seen the Israeli settlements grow in the occupied territories over the last twenty five years.
I have lived with the Palestinians who have lived in camps for 66 years.

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 01:43:48

And living in a cement dwelling, the size of a caravan and no where near as comfortable, with little to eat, restricted movement, little employment, living in constant fear with no help for ongoing mental health problems

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:52:35

I also know and have worked with Israeli Palestinians.

In fact, my boss in the Israeli civil service was an Israeli Arab.

And my professor at uni was an Israeli Arab.

And the ob-gyn who sewed me up after I gave birth was an Israeli Arab.

That's not apartheid or you have a very warped idea of what apartheid is.

You clearly hate Israel so much that you can't accept anything positive about it.

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 01:54:07

BTW, not all Israeli Arabs want to be called Israeli Palestinians. Many actually are really terrified by the association, especially Christians and Druze.

SamG76 Wed 22-Jan-14 13:51:59

also BTW, as part of the peace negotiations, it has been suggested that some Israeli Arab towns near the Green Line could be transferred to the state of Palestine. Given how badly the Israeli Arabs are apparently being treated in Israel, you would think they would jump at the chance to join their Palestinian brethren in the wonderful new state. But guess what? there seems to be near universal rejection of the idea. Very odd...

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:40:03

Because living under occupation is worse than living under apartheid?

Shakshuka Wed 22-Jan-14 16:35:24


Please do elaborate on the supposed apartheid that Arab Israeli citizens live under. I'm really interested since I have never seen it and there is no legal framework which suggests it exists. Arabs in Israel can and do live where they want, work where they want, vote for whoever the want, go to university where they want. You're actually cheapening apartheid and the suffering of the south africans by saying that Arab Israeli citizens live under apartheid. You're simply wrong.

What you're saying is a propaganda fantasy because you can't bring yourself to admit that Arab Israeli citizens prefer the liberal democracy and social welfare system that they benefit from as Israeli citizens (yes, there is racism and discrimination but that is very different to a legal system of apartheid) rather than the chaos and corruption of the Palestinian Authority as you're blinded by hatred for Israel.

SamG76 Wed 22-Jan-14 18:27:36

Thanks, Shakshuka -

Chipping - as part of the peace deal they wouldn't be occupied any more - that's the point of it. They're choosing Israel in preference to a completely independent Palestine, and who could blame them?

Iwannalaylikethisforever Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:12

I've done this trip via Bethlehem, Israeli taxi driver stopped at Palestian and I changed taxi, for me no big deal, I was however not traveling with children, and looking back would not either. Impo guns are carried for a reason, wouldn't take my kids id be scared. There are loads of beautiful places in Israel anyway.

minouminou Thu 06-Feb-14 15:02:02

Just letting everyone know that we didn't go to Jericho in the end. We spent a day in Old Jaffa, as well as a day in Jerusalem and Apollonia. Had a great time and hope to return soon, although not in the summer.

Decided not to brave Jericho because it involved going into the PA and back out again - just didn't feel it was right to do this with a seven-year-old.

Thanks again everyone.

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