Most of us know about the West Bank, occupied territory in the Middle East, because of the intractable political dispute between Israelis and Palestinians. Travelers to this region need to exercise much more caution than they would to other destinations. While the territory is generally calm, there is underlying tension which can suddenly ignite. The U.S government advises Americans to avoid participating in political demonstrations. This is not an ideal vacation retreat. Civilian travelers visit the region primarily to visit friends and relatives.
Israeli security policy can make entering and exiting the territory cumbersome. If political calm can be established, the tourist trade will flourish as this region is brimming with ancient history, archeology and religion.
While security is a traveler’s paramount priority during a West Bank visit, preserving health is an important concern also. Travelers to the Middle East may need the following travel vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Routine vaccinations
West Bank travelers are not at risk for yellow fever or malaria.
See your travel doctor several weeks before departure. Disease patterns can change and your travel physician will be current on evolving health issues in the Middle East. Remember, there is no travel vaccination against poor judgment. West Bank visitors should take a double dose of common sense every morning.