State Department Issues Security Alert for Gaza, Israel

On Sunday, October 8, Israel formally declared war on Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip and which launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend. So far, more than 1,100 people have been killed in Israel and Gaza, with the death toll expected to rise.

Just prior to the attacks, the U.S. Department of State noted that “Terrorist groups, lone-wolf terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza without warning. There has been a marked increase in demonstrations throughout Israel, some with little or no warning.”

Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv remains open, but some flights have been reduced or suspended. U.S. carriers have temporarily suspended flights to Israel. You can see the list of canceled/delayed flights at Flights are still departing Ben Gurion to the U.S. See that list here:

EL AL Airlines operates in accordance with the instructions of the Israeli security forces. All flights are operated as scheduled and will departing from Tel Aviv from Terminal 3 only (including flights that were originally planned to depart from Terminal 1). Travelers booked with EL AL not wishing to travel may cancel their flight and request a credit voucher. See

Good to know: The Israel Ministry of Tourism released guidance for travelers still in the destination. “Should you hear a siren, enter a secured zone or space as soon as possible and follow these instructions. We ask all tourists to obey the instructions of the security authorities,” it said. The Ministry of Tourism operates a virtual office for tourists with inquiries. They can use WhatsApp (+972-55-972-6931) or email ([email protected])

Numerous cruise lines—including Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Celestyalhave altered itineraries to visit Cyprus, Egypt and Turkey in lieu of Israeli port calls.

Intrepid Travel shared in a statement that it has extended the cancelations of tour departures in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through October 31, 2023, and is communicating this decision to all affected customers. 

Intrepid had a small number of travelers in Israel when violence broke out on Saturday. All travelers and tour leaders were safely accounted for. Most travelers left Israel over the weekend, with the remainder set to depart Monday.  

Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA for Intrepid Travel, said: “Our thoughts are with the people of Israel and the Palestinian Territories at this awful time, and we send our condolences to all those who have lost loved ones.”   

While trips in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are paused, Intrepid has stressed that tour departures in neighboring Egypt and Jordan continue as scheduled. Government travel advisories for Egypt and Jordan remain unchanged and both countries remain open for tourism. 

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