How to Get to Palestine from Tel Aviv: Hebron is a big city that lays in the land south of Jerusalem, in the West Bank. This means that there are two possible ways to get there: one is coming from Jordan, passing through the checkpoint at Beit She’an, while the other is flying to Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv’s airport. We warmly recommend volunteers and interns to choose the Ben Gurion’s path as it is easier and takes less time in terms of public transportation.
Many people are afraid of passport checks at Ben Grunion’s airport in Tel Aviv , but there is no need for it. Niccolò, 22 years old from Rome, says: “I would lie if I said that I wasn’t anxious at all the first time I had to pass through the passport checks. But, at the end of the day, they simply asked me the purpose of my visit and what my studies were – I am an Arabic undergraduate student – and they let me pass in less than five minutes. The year after that they kept me waiting for a while to ascertain some things, but they eventually let me go with no harassment at all”.
After getting your visa and collecting your luggage, you shall find many shared taxis waiting just outside the main exit. You shall ask which one goes to Jerusalem, Damascus Gate (in Arabic:Bab el-ʿAmūd). The trip takes about an hour and a half, and it shall not cost more than 70 shekels. Usually, those taxis do not leave until the last seat is taken, but if there is just one seat left usually people ask if they can pay an extra – about 10 shekels – to leave immediately. Nevertheless, everybody has to agree in order to make that happen.
At Bab el-ʿAmūd / Damascus Gate there is a big square, and buses gather there in Jerusalem Central Station. Bus number 24 is the one that will take you to Bethlehem and it will cost you almost 4.70 shekel. You can take a taxi as well, but you have to be careful: you will have to bargain a lot in order not to get ripped off and you should avoid any taxi driver who tells you he can bring you directly to Hebron: these are illegal taxis.
The bus will leave you in front of checkpoint Bethlehem 300, which you can access as a pedestrian. The walk from a side the other takes about five minutes, but upon exiting the checkpoint you will find a gathering point for taxis. You can get one of them, which you shall not – and should not – pay more than 50/60 shekels, or you can get a so-called servīs, which is another kind of shared taxi, which will cost you less than a taxi. Before getting on the taxi/servīs driver you shall ask him to leave you in front of the Stadium in ʿEin Sara street, Hebron (in Arabic: al-Khalīl, el malʿab fi shāriʿ ʿein Sara).
To sum up, How to Get to Palestine from Tel Aviv consists of three steps: getting to the airport, going to Damascus Gate, getting a bus to Bethlehem and from there a taxi to al-Khalīl. Remember to set the price for every taxi and servīs ride before boarding.