Is it safe & easy to travel from Israel to the West Bank?

Tourists, international volunteers, interns, students, and visitors have many questions about the safety and logistics of travelling from Israel to the West Bank, such as: how can you get there and what kind of transport is available?travelling

Generally speaking, there is no direct public transport available from Tel-Aviv to the Palestinian side. First you need to travel to Jerusalem and then from Jerusalem via shared taxi to whatever your destination is in the Palestinian areas (Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, Salfeet, Tubas..etc).

Palestine is not a big country, it means that travelling from the north to the south of it takes only around 3-4 hours, getting from Jerusalem to any Palestinian cities takes only about 2-3 hours by a shared taxi but sometimes be prepared for a wait as the shared taxies only depart when the vehicle is full.

Shared taxies runs 7 days a week from around 6 am to 9 pm. An added factor to be mindful of is that you will have limited options if you decide to travel on a Friday, which is the holiday for Muslims.  If you must travel on a Friday you will need to travel early in the morning and return before sunset if you want to return on the same day.

in conclusion, many internationals make day trips between Palestine and (Israel). Travelling from and around Palestine and (Israel) is really easy and safe, you can always ask questions and Palestinian People are willing to help you even if you do not speak Arabic, Palestine is a small country and travelling around it is cheap , easy, safe  and not costly at all.IMG_4415

What about the cost?

The cost of travelling to the Palestinian side by shared taxi is quite cheap, possibly less than 100 NIS (around 25$). A private taxi will of course cost more. Private taxis will take you directly to your destination without having to make changes during your journey.

Can I ask for a private taxi?

Of course, you can but as mentioned above, it will cost you considerably more than shared transport. The minimum cost from a private taxi directly from the airport to the city of your choice will be about 400 NIS.

The taxis that carry an Israeli car plate (Yellow Plate) can easily travel to the Palestinian areas without any difficulty while the Palestinian taxis are not permitted to enter the Israeli areas at all.travelling1

Is it safe to go there?

No worries, the Palestinian areas are safe and many international visitors safely visit Palestine every year getting to know the nature of the life style of the people living there and to get a closer, on the ground look at what’s really happening. Many international people come to Palestine to visit, to work and intern and to volunteer mostly in the non-governmental organizations all over Palestine.  The number of NGO’s in Palestine exceeds 500.  People would not be coming to Palestine if the situation were unsafe.

Tourists and volunteers who do come to Palestine find that, although the situation in Palestine may at times be tense, they are largely able to live their daily lives without any particular safety concerns above and beyond those one might find typical of living in big cities.

So the golden rule is to take the normal safely precautions that you would take in any other part of the world and enjoy your visit to Palestine.