July 23, 2014
On Monday, the U.S. State Department advised American citizens to consider deferring non-essential travel to Israel as a result of Operation Protective Edge, our current military engagement with Hamas in Gaza. Please know that tourism is continuing, and hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and holy places are open as usual. And it is important to understand that no ban has been proposed, but the State Department has urged Americans to "consider" the situation.
Yesterday, the FAA imposed a 24-hour embargo on U.S. airlines' flights to Israel, and several European airlines have followed suit. Please know, however, that a variety of airlines including British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Arkia Israel Airlines and Israir are continuing as scheduled. Indeed, we expect all Israeli airlines to add additional flights to absorb passengers from cancelled flights.
Please know that life in Israel, and tourism to Israel, goes on and we welcome all visitors in peace. Some 75,000 tourists are in the country, and their travel arrangements are proceeding as planned.
We foresee the current conflict ending soon - and that all will return speedily to normal.
The Ministry of Tourism in North and South America is at your service to respond to inquiries, concerns, and to restoring "business as usual" very soon.