Israel | Culture, Facts & Travel | – CountryReports

Posted By on February 11, 2022

What makes Israel a unique country to travel to?

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

U.S. citizens have occasionally been the victims of high-pressure sales tactics in Jerusalem's Old City tourist shops. In some cases, vendors have not disclosed the true cost of an item and convinced the buyer -- who is unfamiliar with the exchange rate -- to unwittingly sign a credit card sales receipt worth thousands of dollars. Tourists visiting shops in high-traffic tourist areas should not sign credit card receipts unless they are certain of the amount being authorized.

Jerusalem: In Jerusalem, travelers should dress appropriately when visiting the Old City and ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. Most roads into ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays. Assaults on secular visitors, either for being in cars or for being "immodestly dressed," have occurred in these neighborhoods.

Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking on high-speed undivided two-lane roads is common and results in frequent accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.

U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem and their families have been prohibited from using public buses and their associated terminals. (Please review the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for more details.)

The Government of Israel requires that all passenger car occupants use their seat belts at all times and that headlights be used during all intercity travel, both day and night, during winter. As of January 1, 2006, all drivers are required to carry fluorescent vests in the car with them at all times, and they are required to wear these vests whenever they get out of their cars to make repairs, change tires, etc. If a vehicle is stopped for a traffic violation and it does not contain a fluorescent vest, the driver will be fined. These vests can be purchased for a nominal price in all local gas stations. While cellular handset phone use is prohibited while driving, hands-free units are authorized.

West Bank and Gaza: Crowded roads are common in the West Bank and Gaza. During periods of heightened tension, cars with Israeli license plates have been stoned and fired upon. Emergency services may be delayed by the need for Palestinian authorities to coordinate with Israeli officials. Seat belt use is required and drivers may not drink alcohol. Individuals involved in accidents resulting in death or injury may be detained by police pending an investigation.

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Israel | Culture, Facts & Travel | - CountryReports

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