What To Expect At Israel’s Airport Security.

Israel Ben Gurion Airport Security

Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv is infamous amongst travellers for being seriously heavy with security. Horror stories of innocent travellers being detained for hours, being forced to miss flights and intrusive luggage checks are the norm, and the average traveller is often paranoid about strip searches and heavy interrogations, but is it really that bad? What is it really like entering and exiting one of the most security conscious countries on the planet?

Security in Israel is heavy, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Thanks in part to a partly overblown reputation of being a dangerous country and a history of tension in the region, these guys make the TSA in America look even more like rank amateurs just after their afternoon nap, but lets just separate a few facts from fiction and give you the actual truth about what arriving and leaving Israel is really like, and what really happens when you go through immigration and security in Ben Gurion Airport.

Arriving In Israel.

Arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport was not as arduous as I thought it would be, although I accept that the amount of times you are questioned is as much down to luck as it is down to which guards decide to take an interest in you.

Ben Gurion airport applies some of the most stringent security standards in the world, that is a well known fact. In practice for the absolute majority of passengers this will be absolutely no different to any other airport, the checks, questions and passenger screening will be exactly the same, there will just be more of it. Sometimes a lot more of it.

There are visible uniformed guards, police and a military presence at the airport, and a significant plain clothed police presence too, although the majority of this will be in the background and nothing at all to worry about.

Going through passport control was a little slow as each individual was questioned more than you normally would be at most airports, and I had heard stories of passengers frequently being taken aside for a more thorough conversation and whilst I don’t doubt this happens, for me it was a simple couple of questions about how long I was staying and what I planned to do in Israel. That’s it. Nothing overly arduous.

Does Israel Stamp Your Passport On Entry?

This is still one of the most heavily asked questions by first time travellers to Israel, and the simple answer is no, they don’t.

Passport stamp Israel Airport Ben Gurion Jerusalem

It is an unfortunate reality that – just like Israel views certain stamps in your passport as a security issue, a large number of countries in the middle east and beyond view having an Israeli stamp with equal distrust. In some countries this may get you a bit of heavy questioning at arrivals, in others it will bar your entry completely.

So what do they do? They give you a very handy little piece of paper that you can keep in your passport and then discard when you get home or onto your next destination. You get one when you arrive, and one when you leave.

Leaving Israel.

First of all you will be questioned, a lot, just accept that as inevitable.

How much you are questioned and how many times you are questioned depends on how you arrive at the airport (via the train or taxi), what answers you give, who you happen to be questioned by and whatever assessment of your risk level the individual security officers make on any given day. There is a good chance you may be questioned before you get into the main part of the airport itself, and you will certainly be questioned before you even get to the check in counter.

Security questions at Ben Gurion airport Israel

The small guy with the bald head who questioned me was very good at what he did. Probably ex military of some sort, he was quite likely highly trained in numerous psychological interrogation techniques as he gauged my responses and switched his questions based on them. He was very polite and extremely friendly, making the questions seem like a simple informal chat, but he asked and repeated routine – and a few not so routine – questions with practiced ease.

His eyes only left my face to glance at my passport, quickly but methodically asking me about each of the destinations I had stamps for. There were a lot.

I was just grateful some of the more ‘suspect’ stamps were in my old, filled passports back home.

The biggest question mark in my current passport was for some reason Indonesia, even more so than the UAE, Turkey and many others. I have absolutely no idea why. Apparently Israel doesn’t trust Indonesia very much. Now I don’t like to guess it was for religious reasons, but most likely it was because of religious reasons. Either way the guard was very interested in knowing why I had been multiple times and if I kept in touch with anyone from there (of course I don’t, honest Guv’nor)!

But the questioning was kept very informal and very friendly, he asked what I did for a living, why I was in Israel, all the usual questions you might get at any airport, but he threw a few personal curve balls at me and repeated a few questions too, a technique designed to throw me off and establish boundaries, but none were too obtrusive. It was all very thorough and very polite.

The Infamous Security Stickers.

For those who don’t know, Israeli security have a system for judging how much of a threat you are, and how much you will be questioned and searched later on down the line.

Security Sticker System Luggage Israel Airport

After the initial round of questioning on arrival at the airport, which to be fair didn’t really last all that long despite the repeated questions, I was given a little yellow sticker on my passport with a long number and a barcode. It is the first number that you want to look at.

This of course looks innocuous enough, but is in fact a subtle system of profiling you and passing a message along the line of security of how much they should question and search you as you move along it.

I got a five.

Of course no one but Israeli security know the exact specifics of the criteria they use, but part of it is almost certainly racial profiling, or risk based security if you want to use the professional term. This is used alongside the individual judgement and discretion of the guards themselves.

Very basically the system goes from one through to six. The first two at least are reserved for Israelis themselves, diplomats, the type of people who aren’t considered a threat at all by Israeli security. Three to four are reserved for foreigners who aren’t considered a risk (and yes, racial profiling does play a part in this whether you like it or not), five is for foreigners who raise a couple of flags for any number of reasons (how much you travel, the places you have travelled to, how long you have spent in any given country and a million other reasons) and in their eyes deserve a few more questions and perhaps a search, and six is considered a high security risk and will be controlled and searched thoroughly.

It is important to remember that even though there is a chance you may be considered a security risk worth searching, this doesn’t mean anything terrible will happen, it really just means you will be questioned more and your luggage searched. That’s it. 

I have also heard rumours of a 6T for extreme threat levels. Obviously I can’t confirm this and only Israeli security know their internal security procedures, but if this is true I really would not like to be in the shoes of anyone who gets that sticker!

Security Sticker Number System at Israel Airport

Now a five isn’t really anything to worry about, the impression I got personally is that although technically it is considered a security concern, the majority of Western foreigners travelling through Israel will get this number and they will perform routine security checks on all of us.

Apparently my friend who got a six was deemed more of a security risk than me and got questioned and searched more thoroughly! I kind of feel a bit insulted at that. What’s wrong with me?

The Luggage Screening And Security Checkpoint.

After you get designated your number, the next guard checks your sticker and you are directed to a specific line.

Then the waiting begins.

I got a five, so that meant a couple more questions, a step through the metal detector and a thorough bag screening and check.

A friend of mine did receive a six, most likely because she still had a few suspect stamps such as Iran in her passport, and received a lot more questions in a private room and a more thorough bag search than I did.

For me though, with my lowly  number 5, I just got the routine questions and bag search. Now I have to say that these procedures were nothing more than you would get at any airport around the world. The only difference in my mind is that in the name of being meticulous and thorough, Israeli security was so damn slow!

Going through security at Ben Gurion International Airport Israel

I mean there’s being thorough and there’s taking the …

I did refrain from getting annoyed at the two women in front of me who somehow didn’t realise that they would have to go through airport security and spent an extra ten minutes sorting through their bags to separate all their electronics, toiletries and everything else. Okay, I did get annoyed a bit, their blissful self indulgent ignorance was adding even more time to an already lengthy process! Bad enough in a normal airport but Israel is not the place for this, it isn’t really rocket science people!

Eventually it was my turn and I placed all my electronic devices and chargers (already separated into their own stuff sacks) into the plastic tray, everything out of my pockets (already held in my hand) next to them, then laid my carry on luggage on top.

For the benefit of the two ladies in front of me, this took approximately 5 seconds.

Then time stopped. My bag – just like every bag before it – was in that X Ray machine for what seemed like a lifetime. The guy sat on the other side staring at the screen casually chatted to his companion as they gave my bag more doses of radiation than the Incredible Hulk and acted as if they were binge watching an entire season of Game Of Thrones on Netflix as they stared at the screen. It certainly seemed to take as long.

Eventually my bag went through the other side of the machine and I was waved through the metal detector. No problems there, so the guard swabbed my hands and feet – again nothing that doesn’t happen at every other airport – then politely asked me to take a seat while she searched my bag.

Going through security at Ben Gurion International Airport Israel

And she did. Everything was looked at, every pocket was searched and everything was swabbed for trace elements of explosives or drugs.

Everything here was done out in the open, a couple of passengers at a time while the queue on the other side of the X ray machine was getting longer and longer, and they weren’t in any hurry to move the line along either, they were taking as much time as they needed.

It was then I was really glad I got to the airport early.

The only thing she questioned during the search was my first aid pouch, but a quick look inside satisfied her and she moved on. She was extremely professional, extremely polite and extremely friendly.

I think that is the one message I really want to get across here.

Israeli security is thorough and slow, very slow, but they are polite and professional and certainly nothing to be afraid of.

There was no real difference in my experience – apart from the time and thoroughness – between the checks leaving Israel and the checks leaving any other country around the world. They just took their time and looked a little deeper, it was no big deal. To be honest I waited longer in a queue at Denpasar Airport in Bali because the annoying bloody security guy was trying to chat up all the women passing through ahead of me! No such unprofessional behaviour here!

Granted, I was glad I didn’t get a six on my little security sticker, that definitely would have taken a lot longer than the time it took me to get through on my lowly five, and I have heard people say that they can strip search you, look more thoroughly through your gear and get a lot heavier with the questions, among other things. My friends experience was nothing more than a few extra questions and her bag searched in a private room, she was back with me not much longer after I made it through. Obviously the more of a threat they think you are, the more intrusive they are going to get. But at the end of the day all that would have really meant was more questioning and more time taken. An annoyance certainly, but not anything to overly concern myself with.

Just remember to arrive at the airport a little bit early, 3 – 4 hours is enough, just in case they do make you wait, keep your calm and stay relaxed, and you will have no real problems getting through Israeli security at all.

Unless they think you are a security risk!

Ben Gurion International is considered to be one of the safest airports in the world, no flight at the airport has ever been hijacked and they haven’t had a major terrorist incident in almost 50 years, so at the end of the day they have to be doing something right!

Yes security is tight and yes it can be a bit of a pain in the arse when you are stuck in a line that never moves. Ever. I get that. But it really isn’t anything to be overly worried about either. Go and enjoy your trip to Israel, have a great time and let the security guys do their jobs on your way home.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

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Three Days In Jerusalem.

Walking Through Jerusalem’s Living History.

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Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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Posted in Destinations, Travel Advice, Travel Safety
99 comments on “What To Expect At Israel’s Airport Security.
  1. This is so reassuring for anyone wanting to travel to Israel, I’ve never been myself but I have heard the reputation of the security services and have to say it did put me off. I’l definitely think again now.

    • Thank you Alice! I’m glad to hear that. 🙂

    • Roosterama says:

      He says “no flight at the airport has ever been hijacked and they haven’t had a major terrorist incident in almost 50 years”.

      So Mr Bemused BackPacker, you’ve left me a little bemused as to what other airports have had hijacks and terrorist incidents? No many. Maybe Berlin and Nice should have speed barriers to slow trucks down and security checks for all trucks every time they pass an area with huge crowds. Sure, have some checks, but these tactics are beyond the pale.

      After reading reports like these, I’m surprised anyone with half a brain ever visits Israel, I sure won’t be.

  2. maninahuff says:

    I’ve always heard rumours about how tough it is to travel through Israel, thanks for the actual truth of what it is like.

  3. John says:

    I have to say I didn’t have a problem, like you I got asked a ton of questions but none that I would really consider over the top, and like you say they were really professional about it. I’m glad you are dispelling the myths about the security in Israel.

  4. Debbie says:

    Wow, that is not how I had imagined it at all. So would you say that the security situation in Israel in general is okay?

  5. Glen says:

    Brilliant article and very thorough. I an genuinely understand people’s worry and concern about going through security like this (even though like you say a lot is overblown) but at the end of the day they take security seriously for a reason and it obviously works.

  6. Jack says:

    I went to Tel Aviv a few years ago and went through security too. I can honestly say it wasn’t anything too severe … a lot of questions and a very thorough x ray and bag search. The security and customs people were just doing there jobs and doing it very well.

  7. Ellie says:

    Well I have to say it sounds like a major improvement on the TSA here in the US!

  8. Ruth says:

    I live in Israel so come in and out so this is nothing new for me, but thanks so much for putting it together. Its nice to see how others look at what happens here and Im sure this puts peoples minds at ease.

    • I certainly hope so, I know Israel has a tough reputation for security and whilst that reputation has some merit I wanted to show travellers that it isn’t anything to worry about. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  9. Harry says:

    I think the American TSA are starting to take lessons from Israel airports!

  10. Marie says:

    Thanks for such an in depth look at the process, it doesn’t seem so bad now, but I wonder if it would have been a different story if they had decided to detain and question you?

    • Thanks for reading and yes that is an excellent and very fair point. I can only imagine it probably would have been, I do know people who have gone through it and they did not enjoy the experience, but if it happened my only response could have been staying calm, polite and answering their questions until they let me on my way.

  11. Michelle Cross says:

    Thanks for this, I’d got excited about planning a weekend trip to Tel Aviv until I heard about the heavy security, so it isnt as bad as everyone makes out?

  12. Sue says:

    Thank you for this, it is great to hear they don’t stamp your passport as I have been dreaming (and planning) of a bit of a tour of the middle east for a long time and wasn’t sure if I would have to leave Israel off the itinerary. Thank you so much for all your practical advice.

    • You are very welcome! You should definitely add Israel to that list! ;D

    • Guy Jones says:

      Just go to Israel at the end of your middle-eastern travels then you won’t have to go to the added hassle of making sure immigration don’t stamp your passport.Other countries are no so forthcoming – Algeria for example refuses entry to anyone with a Taiwanese stamp in their passport yet Taiwan immigration insist on stamping your passport!

  13. Jason Bender says:

    What if I want my passport stamped – will/can they do that?

  14. GUY JONES says:

    I went to Israel back in 2009 and also had a “5” on my sticker which I didn’t even notice it had been put there at the time.To speed things up I would suggest to go when you have a new passport (less hassle with explaining stamps from what Israel regards as “enemy countries”), have a guide-book to hand (being a tourist without one would look highly suspect), smile (they LOVE it when people get angry), never say you are going to the west bank and try to get a flight which arrives late in the day when things are quieter.To get into the county for me it took an hour whilst leaving took almost twice as long: serious questioning by three people at the same time, endless bag rechecking and a final interview which went on so long I was thinking of the financial consequences of missing my flight.Israel is well worth a visit – just be prepared for the airport onslaught.

    • Well I don’t think not having a guide book would be suspect (most travellers don’t use them now, they use much better blogs instead!) ;D But I do agree about leaving plenty of time and just being nice and polite.

  15. David RS says:

    What about a tiny bit of hash oil in what looks like a tiny cosmetics cream jar? What about a pill capsule with a little bit of ex inside mixed in with other pills? Do they individually inspect and open each item in the toiletries bag?

  16. Roseline says:

    bonjour à tous, je vois cet article par hasard et il est excellent. bravo à l’auteur !!!

  17. Good article but could be beefed up by more detail on entering the country. Even before the passport control there are security agents eyeballing everyone. I’ve been nabbed after deplaning and walking the long corridors before passport control. If you are asked at passport control where you are going, and you mention any Palestinian city, or use the word ‘Palestine’, then you will have raised a red flag and more likely to be invited to the proverbial back room.

    I have had clients forced to open their Facebook and email accounts so that security can take a look. Refusal means no entry to Israel. Security is mainly looking for political activists who want to work with Palestinians. Supporters of BDS can be legally summarily rejected.

    However don’t worry. 99% of visitors pass through without serious questioning. It helps to wear a Christian or jewish religious pendant, smile and say ‘Shalom’ to the passport officer.

    • Thanks Fred, with so much security it should go without saying that you are being observed pretty much every step of the way, and I’ve heard of people being asked to show their social media too. I wouldn’t wear any religious symbology at all though, just smile, be polite and be non committal.

  18. toxxic says:

    We at several times had been traveling to Israel, by plane and,by car. Last time in April 2018. It’s highly recommended to be at the airport 3,hours in advance, until your plane,starts. We never had any bad,experiences with th controls. The security questions always some way had been special, always unexpected. “Ask your wife in your language about she packed all by herself.” – “What’s the meaning of your given name”. The,answers didn’t seem to be interesting for them, much more your reaction on it at all, how fast one,replied.

  19. Rafiki says:

    I received a 6 on a trip to Tel Aviv recently and, aside from the hour long interrogation and strip search, they completely unpacked my check-in, stole an item, and my bag didn’t arrive to my final destination until a day later. Upsetting – to say the least.

    • Well long interrogations and thorough seraches are relatively normal Rafiki but if you think they stole something (was it anything that was on their banned list of items?) then you need to take that up with the authorities. I have to say they were more than thorough searching my bag as well (inspected everything) but they were more than polite and professional about it.

  20. Helena B. says:

    I just arrived back from traveling for a weekend trip to see the special places. I received a 6 and was thoroughly searched. I got this designation because I work in middle eastern countries. What bothered me the most was going through the x-ray body scan being subjected to radiation. No need – I was wearing minimal clothing. Could I have just had a strip/body pat down instead? I also don’t understand the heavy security when you are leaving – why when you go out? and not when you come in. Coming in was a walk in the park.

    • Sorry to hear you got a 6 and was put through heavier searching Helena, but I wouldn’t worry about the radiation from the X ray, it is minimal. You can actually request a pat down though if you wish.

      • Helena says:

        Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I will ask for a pat down next time. I do want to go again. Completely worth the visit. And I appreciate that the Israelis protect the special places and keep it safe to visit.

  21. Sam says:

    Actually I got a 2 when traveling with my grandmother and I’m a 23-yo male from Europe, so it is possible to get a 2 even for non-Israelis if you look really non-threatening – the guy literally asked us if we packed our bags while sticking 2 on our passports :D. I believe my dad got 2 as well while in TLV on a business trip (with a clean passport). I was surprised I got a 2, even though I got a 6 just 3 months earlier after having hitchhiked in from Egypt.

  22. Jojo says:

    I am just back from Israel yesterday, agree with your description. The entrance to the country was easy peasy, one question for a reason for my visit… I was with a friend, we’re 2 40yo ladies, blondes, Polish, nothing really out of standard. We were told before going that the ladies from Eastern Europe are not very welcome, but no issues at all at entry. Leaving the country it is all quite ridiculous though, security staff were all very very young, like right after the army or something, no one looking more than 25yo in view. They were totally bored and kind of Sleeping beauties. Hated the guy walking away with my passport in his hand. Almost 2 hrs of this circus. I’m still fuming from the experience. I don’t get the exit security and grilling, what’s the point? If I am a threat, don’t let me in, what’s the point of not not letting the threat out??? If I was to do something illegal, I would have done in while IN the country and not when left… Anyone knows logical explanation for this??
    Other than that, lovely country. Grumpiness is Israeli’s second name though…

    • In or out they may be reacting to different situations at different times, it isn’t specifically harder on exiting the country. Yes it is thorough and frustrating but it isn’t as horrific as many make out.

  23. khalil says:

    Many irrelevent questions by Israeli immigration like my grandfathers name and why didnt i travel overland from egypt to Jordan when there is no overland. They kept me waiting for 2 hours waiting.

  24. david.grin says:

    We flew to Israel from Mumbai and the Israeli security guards at the airport in India asked us to walk down a particular lane. I later realized they had sensors along this lane or hidden cameras that could detect hazardous materials even in very small amounts.

  25. Yan Grey says:

    I just arrived in Israel on a direct flight from Hong Kong, where Israeli security delayed several Australians for questioning and additional security checks. These Australian guys looked nervous to me too. They didn’t carry any large bags, just regular size handbags.
    After the security check they were led away by local police. Security there must have some kind of sensors that can detect a combination of a nervous passenger and suspicious substances even in small amounts. (Yan, Hong Kong)

  26. Joies says:

    fuck israel. Its most disgusting dumbshit fake jew zionist country on earth. Go visit every Muslim nation on earth and none of them will treat you like the Imperialist do

    Israel is the last country on earth I’d ever visit. I’d rather bag 65 year old prozzies than set foot in that white dominated nation.

    Go to Iran and you can drink Vodka with a jewish antique owner in Tehran and he will let you visit the Synagogues

    • You are so ridiculous I can’t even take you seriously! As if any respectful Iranian, or anyone for that matter would waste a second on you!

    • Helena says:

      It is a privilege as a Christian to visit the special places in Israel. These places belong to the world and I am grateful that the Israeli’s are protecting them. Naturally, we go through rigorous security when we want to visit. It is inconvenient but necessary. I am okay with it because the alternative – of special places being unprotected – is unthinkable.

      • Guy R Jones says:

        Dear (Hasbara) Helena – oddly enough my late grandmother went to Jerusalem back in the early 1960’s before the complete Israeli military conquest of that city and strangely enough all “the special places” were open to tourists without any need of “protection” by anyone as the Jordanians were doing a good enough job on their own – so your unthinkable was in fact reality.Jerusalem does not belong to the world – it is owned by Israel and they can and do whatever they want with it – just ask the declining Arab population of that city for further details regarding the “Judification” policies of the current Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

      • I know what you mean, the fact that we can see and be around these amazing religious and archaeological sites.

    • Liadan Nicola says:

      Iran does have a very vibrant and active Jewish community.

  27. mary says:

    Hi, does anyone know if it can cause a trouble to possess Palestinian products (food) in the bag when leaving Ben Gurion? I plan to bring back dates, olive oil and herbs (package written in Arabic and clearly from Palestine) as a gift for family and friends. They will be in my suitcase to check but the staff at airport may open my suitcase. Would it lead to the maximum level of search/questioning (‘6’)? Would the staff take these products away?

  28. Okr says:

    Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world, more than any Middle Eastern countries. It’s no surprise why Israel doesn’t like Indonesia. I’m surprised you don’t know this if you are a world traveller.

  29. Raz says:

    I have never had a problem going through Israeli security, sure they ask questions and can be thorough but not more than i have been asked coming back to the US or going through the UK? Not a big deal at all for most people I should imagine.

  30. Hanny says:

    I’m surprised they allowed you to take photos if they are so strict!

  31. Hanny says:

    If you’re patient, polite and relaxed and just answer the questions they ask which are, for the most part pretty standard then 99% of the time you will go through without any problem whatsoever. Just like any airport in the world

  32. omo says:

    Thank you for the reassurance on this issue, I had been previously worried about security in Israel.

  33. Gerri Hunter says:

    Such a straightforward and informative article, thank you. I have to admit I have heard some real horror stories, especially from women, about being told to strip and getting basically sexually assaulted in pat downs and it has honestly put me off.

    • I’ve heard a lot of horror stories too Gerri but honestly that has not been my experience nor the experience of anyone I know. I have only ever seen the security there be ultra professional. Yes there are occassions where people will be asked to strip off in exceptional security circumstances, like there are in any airport, and some people will get patted down as well as using the scanners from time to time, again, just like in any airport in the world. This won’t be the experience of most travellers though and if it does happen I am sure it will be nothing but professional.

      • Liadan Nicola says:

        So, Bemused Backpacker–

        You never printed my ordeal where I was sexually assaulted by security and where several other women were too.

        I wonder why.

      • Because there are legal ramifications to just making accusations online, especially with zero proof or evidence. If a crime occurred, I strongly suggest you (or anyone else you claim to speak for) go to the police and the authorities. This isn’t a place for trial by media.

  34. Stephen says:

    It doesn’t sound like it is as bad as I have heard, thanks so much for this.

  35. Julian says:

    Interesting post, thank you for this, it has really made me think again about coming to Israel. I had dismissed it in the past (admittedly without all that much thought or research) because of the horror stories I heard about getting in through the airport security.

  36. Rick says:

    Some very salient points here and what you say about scaremongering is very true. Best to not listen to it.

  37. Sam says:

    Traveling to Israel next week. I need to take medicine (B-12) which I need to inject. Are there any issues with name/proper labeling, etc….taking medication through customs ?

    • Hi Sam, there are issues yes. Always travel with the proper labelling, the original packaging and all letters/scripts etc from your GP and you should be fine. Please feel free to contact me on my travel clinic to discuss specific issues with specific meds in more details.

      • MICHAEL says:

        Me and my wife will be travelling to Israel in the summer of 2020. Tel Aviv, Jeruzalem, the Dead Sea and all the regular stuff. We can’t wait!!! There is one thing that worries me: me myself I speak English quite well but my wife doesn’t speak any English at all. I’m worried that she won’t be able to answer the questions asked by the Israeli security agents. Off course I’d love to translate, but will they accept that?

        Can you comfort me a little bit on that?

      • Hi Michael, you should be absolutely fine, it depends on the language of course but security will speak multiple languages or be able to get someone if it is necessary. They will be used to travellers from all over the world coming through every single day so don’t worry.

  38. Amy says:

    I had one of those nightmare experiences at Ben Gurion airport- it was back in 2009, so perhaps (hopefully) security protocols have changed since, as what I experienced was extreme. I was not aware of the security sticker system, am guessing that I was a 6 as I was detained and questioned by multiple people in a private room for several hours, was strip searched and had my computer, luggage, and carry-on, even my coat confiscated. Just for additional info- I am a white female and was traveling alone from NYC to visit a friend in Tel Aviv and at the time was in my early 30’s. 
    I luckily did make my flight and was escorted directly onto the plane by security being the last person to board with only my phone, keys, wallet and passport in hand. 
    I received my computer, luggage and coat 10 days later- mailed to my apartment in New York City, some of the items in my luggage were broken. However, the fact that they kept these things- especially my computer for several days is terrifying and still a mystery to me, as I was never given an answer to why I was singled out for enhanced and honestly humiliating interrogation. 
    Sadly, as much as I would love to visit Israel again-  am still shaken by this experience. 

  39. Kate Hule says:

    Very interesting, thank you. I’ve heard so many scare stories about coming through security in Israel I didn’t know what to believe.

  40. eli says:

    I very much agree with you, rules are strict but they seem to on the whole do it very well. Much better than the UK

  41. Someone says:

    I am.half jewish i fly back from israel to amsterdam
    got a 5 on my stamp for some reson i asked them about it and they were nice and whene they saw i was relaxed and even.happy they checkt me the hole situtation changed form tens to relaxed and open he litterly told me.they do random check ups even with israelis he even joked with me beceus i said i want to have a israeli paspoort he said it probley maked the hole.way easyer and not to worry about it was random.check.up what they do all the time

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a former nurse turned published author and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent over twenty years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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