|Maccabi Health Services Group Dental Clinic Chain|
Yes! Yes, certainly it is safe. Safety is always the first priority - no matter where we are. If an area becomes unsafe for some reason, we simply change plans and go to another site of interest. Our tour groups do not use trains or public buses. They do not visit nightclubs, or other large public gatherings. We do not go to Gaza, Hebron or Ramallah. Tour guides remain in constant contact with their local land tour operator. Tour groups stay within safe areas, and vehicles are never left unattended.
Per capita, Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, have more journalists and media coverage than anywhere else in the world. They need to earn their keep, so every little act tends to become horrific in their reporting. CNN is noted for this. Millions of tourists have gone to Israel over the last decade and returned happy and safe. They realise that news reports about Israel often get exaggerated. Tourists provide a living for many Jewish and Arab people. The local people are friendly, welcoming and helpful.
My wife and I have visited Israel three times in the last 10 years. We went on a tour in 2006, took friends with us on a tour in 2014, and in the spring of 2016 we went for dental treatment with Tour and Smile. During our most recent stay we visited Galilee and Jerusalem. We rented a car to visit the north, and also traveled by bus and train.
Staying in an Arab hotel in East Jerusalem, we were in and out of the Old City numerous times through the Damascus Gate. There was plenty of police and army presence in and around Jerusalem, perhaps a bit more than usual. At no time did we have any worry about our safety, on the contrary we felt as safe as we would at home. People everywhere we went were friendly, kind and helpful. Jerusalem was probably safer than many major North American cities. It was a genuine pleasure to visit the land of Israel, and we would happily go again.
John & Dot Turner