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Two days after the October 7, 2023 attack that Hamas launched on Israel the UK updated https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel to "advise against all but essential travel" to all of Israel (and to "advise against all travel" for select portions) (previously most of Israel was "green").

The US Department of State's Travel Advisory for Israel, however, was last updated on October 3, before the October 7 attacks, and places Israel at level 2 of 4 ("Exercise increased caution"). Now, sure, on October 9, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/situation-in-israel-2023.html was posted, but that's not an actual update to their safety ranking thing.

So it seems to me that the two possibilities are (1) that it just takes a good amount of time (relatively speaking) for the US to update their travel advisories or (2) that the US thinks the recent events in Israel do not change the overall security situation of Israel?

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  • Are you asking if traveling to Israel is safe or is this a general question?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 15:54
  • I think at this point of time it's enough to look at the rate of flight cancellations to know that you should probably not travel there unless you have a very very very good reason to.
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 17:25
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    For comparison: it took one week for the Department of State to update guidance on travel to Niger after the coup in July, from Level 3 to Level 4. The guidance was updated at the same time that the State Dept. ordered non-essential personnel to leave the country. Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 18:45
  • 1
    And for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine was already at Level 4 for at least a couple of months before the actual invasion, due to high COVID rates and "increased tensions with Russia". Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 18:46
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    The page was updated today, and so was my answer.
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 22:23

2 Answers 2

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I'm writing this on Tuesday morning. The Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday, and Monday was Columbus Day - a Federal holiday in the US. There might be updates coming.

Right now the guidance is "DO NOT TRAVEL" to Gaza, and slightly lower "EXERCISE INCREASED CAUTION" to most of Israel. Government employees are forbidden to getting too close to Gaza (within 7 miles of the border) and some other areas in the region.

This seems to not be new, as you mentioned the last update was on Oct. 3rd, so the guidance stands even without the recent events. It may remain the same as it is reasonable within the current state of affairs.


An update EOD (ET) Tuesday: the advisory levels remain the same with the last revision as of today. As I expected, the DoS kept the level of advisory guidance without change.

There are several recent alerts on the embassy webpage, and if you're in Israel or planning to go to Israel you should continue monitoring that page.


Another update EOD Wednesday: As of October 11th, Gaza remains at "DO NOT TRAVEL", and Israel and the West Bank were elevated to the "RECONSIDER TRAVEL", which is one below DNT. The DNT for Gaza is due to "armed conflict", and the RT to the rest of Israel and the West Bank is due to "civil unrest" and "terrorism". The DOS doesn't expect the conflict to spill back into Israel.

So the answer to your question is "4-5 days".

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  • Oh right - I forgot that Monday was a federal holiday.
    – neubert
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 17:53
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    I'll note that Israel's core territories have been (nearly) conflict-free since 1948: history.stackexchange.com/questions/72552/…. So it's probably not that dangerous to visit.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 22:32
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    well.... The Hamas attack was on the core territories, and included a music festival where there were at least several US citizens in attendance. I also know of some San Francisco residents currently sheltering in place in central Israel under the Hamas bombardment. It is true that it is generally safe, but there are regularly terrorist attacks in Israel's "core territories" (including one at Mike's Place right next to the US embassy building in Tel Aviv several years ago).
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 22:37

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