israel rocket map

Should I cancel my trip to Israel?

Click here for and update from Sunday November 18th
I am getting concerned emails from clients who are booked to visit over the next couple of weeks asking whether it is safe to visit Israel right now.

I am sure that there are many others out there who have the same question so I thought I would share my thoughts about this.

As of this moment, there are rockets falling in a very limited area of the country. This includes cities like, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva. Currently rockets are not falling in any other part of the country. Take a look at this map to understand what areas can potentially come under rocket fire from Gaza.

If you are planning on touring in the Jerusalem area or in the north of the country, there is no reason to change your plans. Although we are all very concerned for the people who live within range of the rockets, life continues as usual in most of the country.

Today the Ministry of Tourism issued a letter recommending all tourist to continue their plans as usual as long as they are not visiting the area shown on the map above.

Here is a link to the letter:  Is it safe to visit Israel Now?

A couple weeks ago during Hurricane Sandy, all my Israeli friends were asking me if my parents in the USA are OK. I tried to explain to them that they live in Los Angeles, but it didn’t help. They were still worried!

Of course the situation can always change so I will keep monitoring it and make any changes to my clients itineraries which may be necessary. But if you already have tickets and plans, I don’t recommend canceling them. Come and enjoy Israel. You will have a great time here!

2 replies
  1. Liisa
    Liisa says:

    I understand the reference of NY and Los Angeles and the vast difference in between in regards to safety. However, when you are talking about the rockets being less than a couple hours drive to only 45 miles from Jerusalem, that is a big difference of distinction to NY and Los Angeles. Israel is a small country (state). If there were a guarantee that the rockets could not reach Jerusalem, then I would wholly agree with your reasoning of those areas being relatively safe while traveling in Israel.

    • Aaron Shaffier
      Aaron Shaffier says:

      Even if you visit the area where the rockets are landing multiple times a day, the odds of being injured are extremely tiny. The proof is that there are well over a million people living in the effected area and yet, only a few dozen have been injured and 3 killed during the current conflict. I still wouldn’t recommend you tour in these areas though because your tour will be constantly interrupted by having to take shelter as a precaution every time a siren goes off.

      If you stick to the areas outside the map, there is a small chance that a rocket could reach some of those areas, like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, but the odds that you would be injured are exponentially smaller and your tour will not be inconvenienced in any way by sirens going off all the time (although there have been a couple in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv).

      I would venture to say that you have a much greater chance of getting killed every time you enter a vehicle than getting killed by a rocket in Jerusalem.

      In any case, I understand and respect those people who are willing to spend all of the extra money and endure the inconvenience of rescheduling their trips. My goal here is to give “permission” to those who would rather not, by explaining that they are not being irresponsible in any way.


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