Protests in Israel – What’s Happening?
After a turbulent few weeks since the Israeli prime minister announced controversial reforms to the countries judicial system, tens of thousands of people took to the street after the sacking of the defence minister – Yoav Gallant – after he had spoken out against the reforms.
For those of you who are planning to travel to Israel in the near future, you may want to understand what is going on in the country and how this could affect you and your trip.
How did the Israel Protests Start?
On January 4th, 2023, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new legislation that would reform the judicial system in Israel. These reforms would see a simple majority of 61 out of 120 seats enough to override almost any Supreme Court ruling thereby giving politicians more say on justices appointed to the bench.
Supporters within what people are describing as the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, insist they are restoring the balance between the judiciary and executive. Critics – including the recently sacked Yoav Gallant – warn that the planned legislation changes place too much power in the hands of the government.
How long are the protests likely to last?
Whilst it is difficult to provide a definitive answer on how long the protests will last, it is unlikely that demonstrations will cease until the draft legislation and plans to overhaul the judicial system are removed. Whilst judicial reform in the state of Israel is dividing a nation, demonstrators will have been buoyed by the news that the prime minister has delayed the vote on new legislation for at least a month.
Whilst this is only a temporary fix, the prime minister did acknowledge that this was necessary to avoid a civil war in the country. President Isaac Herzog also called for the government to halt reforms taking to twitter to plead for the legislative process to be stopped immediately for the sake of the unity of the people of Israel.
How might this affect you?
Whilst mass protests and the protest movement in general in Tel Aviv and Israel in general are likely to subside at least in the short term there is still potential for disruption if you choose to travel to Israel in the meantime. Since Mr Netanyahu’s firing of Yoav Gallant, there had been a weeks’ worth of disruption planned after Universities had already been closed and flights from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport were grounded.
This weeks’ worth of disruption has since been avoided following the announcement that the vote on legislation had been pushed back by a month. It is worth staying up to date with news alerts to stay on top of current developments.
What is current Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) advice?
Currently, the FCDO advises against all travel to Gaza, the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar, or within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town and within 500m of the border with Syria (the ‘Alpha Line’).
The FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to areas of the north of and including Jenin city, Burqin and Arranah in the north of the West Bank. This includes Jenin refugee camp and all areas north of this until the Jalamah checkpoint for access to Israel. You are also advised against all but essential travel to the city of Nablus, Joseph’s Tomb, and the Balata and New Askar refugee camps near Nablus and the village of Huwara, south of Nablus.
The FCDO warn that the situation in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories can be fast moving and unpredictable which means you should remain vigilant at all times. Terrorist attacks are likely especially in places often visited by foreigners and there have been repeated instances of rocket fire from Gaza to remain aware of.
What can High Risk Voyager provide?
High Risk Voyager is able to provide Travel Insurance for those who are travelling against FCDO advice. This includes areas that are considered high risk such as war zones*, crisis zones, and disaster relief zones that encompass countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.
Whether you are a journalist looking to travel to these types of areas to cover the latest events, an aid worker travelling to provide aid to people in these countries, or are travelling for another reason, High Risk Voyager can provide you with Travel Insurance to protect you on your trip.
In Need of Travel Insurance to Travel to Israel?
If you are planning to travel to Turkey or Syria and are in need of Travel Insurance, then High Risk Voyager could be the Travel Insurer for you. We offer specialist business or leisure trip Travel Insurance for individuals or groups travelling to high-risk destinations such as Israel which includes:
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For Business Trips up to 365 days cover (can include up to 31 days of Leisure cover)
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*Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation, we are currently unable to provide cover for those travelling to Ukraine or Russia.
This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions, and exclusions.