Suspended flights and insurance: What to know about travel to Israel right now

Tel Aviv international airport is still in operation, but many airlines have cancelled or diverted services.


Israel has declared it is at war after militants from the fundamentalist group Hamas sprung a surprise attack on the country from Gaza.

Rockets have been fired into Israel hitting cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and armed terrorists are present in the country.

More than 700 Israelis are now dead with thousands more hospitalised. Authorities have also confirmed the deaths of nine US citizens while 10 British citizens are feared dead or missing.

Hamas has also taken dozens of hostages from Israel back to the wartorn strip. In Gaza, at least 500 people are reported to have died.

If you are in the area or have booked to travel into Israel, here is the latest official travel advice.

Is it safe to travel to Israel?

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel guidelines for the affected region advising against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

This means holiday companies with clients in the zone must bring them back as quickly as possible and halt all future trips until the advice is downgraded.

In particular, the FCDO now advises against all travel to:

  • Gaza
  • the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar
  • Within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town and and within 500m of the border with Syria (the ‘Alpha Line’)
  • The area close to the border with Gaza that includes the following: the area southwest of Ashkelon; the area south of route 35 and west of route 40 as far as Tlalim, not including Be’er Sheva; the area west of Be’er Sheva; the area north of route 211

The FCDO also warns that incidents have occurred in Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Hadera, Jerusalem and the Old City (particularly at and around Damascus Gate, Herod’s gate, Lion’s Gate and the Chain Gate), Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, the Jordan Valley, at Israeli checkpoints, near settlement outposts, and around Palestinian refugee camps.

You should exercise particular caution when visiting these areas and only travel if essential.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) similarly advises travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to Israel as “ongoing attacks pose a significant security risk.”

“Please avoid all travel to Southern Israel, and continue to exercise extreme caution within Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” the DFA says.

What if I have a holiday booked in Israel?

If you choose to travel to Israel now that official advice warns against visiting, you won’t be protected by standard travel insurance policies.

If you have booked a package holiday to Israel, you can cancel and receive a full refund because of the ‘no-go’ travel warning.

Are there flights to and from Israel?

Tel Aviv international airport – the main travel hub in the country – is still in operation, but many airlines have cancelled or diverted services.

US carriers United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines have suspended flights while European operators including Lufthansa, AirFrance and Finland’s Finnair have also been halted.

EasyJet cancelled flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday and Monday and has said it is adjusting service times over the next few days.

“Any customers affected by cancellations are eligible for a refund, voucher, or a free of charge transfer to a new flight,” a spokesperson from the airline said.


Wizz Air flights en route to Israel when the offensive began were redirected to Larnaca, the main airport on the island of Cyprus. Flights to and from Tel Aviv have been cancelled until further notice.

Portugal’s TAP suspended flights on Monday and is offering refunds or rescheduling at no additional cost.

Israel’s El Al airline says it is operating in accordance with the instructions of security forces and that flights are running “as scheduled”.

What should you do if you are currently in Israel?

The FCDO warns that international borders – both air and land – in Israel and OPTs could close at short notice.

If you are currently in Israel, your travel insurance still covers you until you manage to leave the country.


You should check with your airlines and travel insurers before travelling. You are advised to consult Israeli Home Front Command for more information: or call 104 if you are in Israel.

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