Does getting the Israel Passport Stamp scare you?

Wed 12 Dec 2012

A lot Middle Eastern countries are strongly against the Israel, or the occupation of Palestine. This is not the topic here, we are not covering it. Today we are just talking about the Stamp. The dreaded Israel Stamp. The simple sign of this should result in exclusion to Iran, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and possibly other countries.

Traditionally if you were traveling the region you have to construct a touring itinerary so you would visit Israel last, or you have to do it on multiple passports. Most of us don’t have this flexibility so let’s see how your passport can remain free of the Israel stamp.

Passport stamps have bothered “Western” tourists visiting the Middle East for years.

In the 2000′s to 2013 there was one ‘stamp free’ way in and out safely. This was through the King Hussein also known as Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan.

Inside, the wall between Israel and Palestine
Travelers could travel the Middle East and quiet easily catch a taxi or shared van from Amman Jordan to this border. At and ONLY at this border, the Jordan authorities, on request could give you their official exit stamp on a separate piece of paper. This piece of paper remains loosely in your passport. If driving private cars they would then continue across a large area to the Israel s immigration offices. Those crossing by foot or taxis would embark in official buses to go the route. There is no option to walk.

At a final short Jordan checkpoint the piece of paper with the Jordan stamp is taken and Israel Immigration begins.

The first thing you will notice, besides a lot of people with guns, is that the people holding the guns are generally Teenagers. Their actually High School Graduates, completing their Mandatory Military Service. All Israel boys and girls have to complete this Mandatory Service. Also a lot of fresh US/Russian/European Immigrants also may have to or often choose to do this service.

Here at the Israel Checkpoints you will begin the Israel Immigration process. Arabs and non Arabs are separated and treated differently. Some are treated like criminals, the others are not as fortunate. Luckily you’re probably not an Arab. Anyone who is a considered a possible risk will be held up for interviews. Those that are very clearly safe to Israel or Israeli’s themselves, should pass through relatively quickly. People are separated from their bags and I have heard a lot of stories of theft from bags while they are passing through immigration. (I’ve heard about this from the Airport as well).

Males aged between 20-40 are a primary risk. As is any one with (besides Jordan) other Middle Eastern Stamps in their passport, anyone with Muslim names or passports will probably be held up as well. Waits are generally between 1-12 hours. Also note: At this place there is no WiFi and Jordan Mobile phones will not work in this area.

Most people have informed me that after all the non-Arabs are processed, they then start on the Arabs. Many of these guys are the Palestinians returning home or crossing Israel borders to visit family/work and the like.

After the interviews and immigration checks, if allowed in, you are ready for the Israel Stamp. If you ask, they will put it on a separate piece of paper which stays with your passport for the duration of your stay.

On completion of Israel you can return to Jordan through this same border crossing. A thorough passport inspection will show that you have only spent some time in Jordan.

Is it hard to get in:

In my opinion a non-Arab, non-Muslim should have no real issues. Just the time delay, interview and hassle. Any Arab, Muslim or anyone on their registers as entering before or being a possible Palestinian supporter, volunteer, volunteer could easily be refused.

Lucky your not a Palestinian though. I met a man in Amman Jordan. Every day he went to the border trying to get back to West Bank. He was visiting family in a Palestine Refugee Camp (one of the biggest Refugee Camps in the world) and now the Israel Authorities were not letting him return. I met him on his 9th day of trying. He said he would keep trying everyday. I hope he got home.

2013 UPDATE:

Online research shows that a new Israeli policy has been launched.

The B2 Tourist Visa

b2 tourist visa
Sample B2 Tourist Visa
There’s a policy change in Israel particularly in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. Instead of an Israel passport stamp, they will give you this B2 Tourist Visa an electronically printed slip of paper.

It includes your name, nationality, photo (copied from your passport photo), date and so on. This guy’s thumb is concealing his reference and passport number.

Research from shows that this policy, applied at every entry point, to every “Western” (i.e. visa-exempt) tourist; it opens up the possibility of guaranteed free movement around the Middle East. You still need to be careful not to pick up tell-tale Egyptian and Jordanian exit/entry stamps.

So here you have it, hope this will help you guys if you are planning to travel Israel.
Story by:
Adrian Cahill
Expert traveler, Adrian has been in over 70 countries, stayed in mud huts and was once caught smuggling Vegemite in his trousers. Now he is on the speaking circuit and writes about his adventures.

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