Israel is now allowing entry to U.S. citizens of Palestinian origin, who hold Palestinian identification cards or who reside in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

Key Points:

  • U.S. citizens of Palestinian origin, including those holding Palestinian identification cards, are now able to enter Israel for tourism and business purposes under the same conditions as other U.S citizens.
  • Historically, U.S. citizens who hold Palestinian identification cards were required to enter and exit Israel from the West Bank.
  • U.S. citizens who are currently residents of the West Bank will also be allowed to travel through Israel’s Ramon and Ben Gurion airports.

BAL Analysis: The Israeli government simplified travel rules for U.S. citizens of Palestinian origin and for those who hold Palestinian identification cards so that Israel can eventually be admitted to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security welcomed the change and said it “is working closely with the Government of Israel in its efforts to meet those requirements, in furtherance of our shared goal that Israel join the Visa Waiver Program.” The change is an important step by Israel towards joining the Visa Waiver Program, which would allow for citizens of Israel to travel to the U.S. without a visa for business or tourism purposes.

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