In fact visitors are at greater risk in the big cities such as Tel Aviv than in the smaller towns such as Bethlehem, from the usual pick pockets and thugs found in any big city. The Arab code of hospitality also ensures that visitors are treated with respect and consideration. In the big urban areas it is wise to take sensible precautions with wallets, handbags and passports to ensure they are kept safe. To help avoid becoming a target of pick pockets, do not dress so as to mark yourself as an affluent tourist. Expensive-looking jewelry, for instance, can draw the wrong attention.
Israel is a modern, developed country with levels of health and hygiene equal to those of Western countries. Visitors entering Israel or Palestine are not required to undergo vaccinations prior to their arrival. In Jordan medical services are well developed, with a medical centre or clinic in every town and village. Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily in outlying areas. No vaccinations are required. In Palestine medical services are very good, with many doctors trained abroad. However, due to the Occupation the extent of medical cover is not so advanced as in Israel or Jordan, but access to health facilities in Israel and Jordan is available while in the Palestinian Territories.
Almost everyone in the health care field – from pharmacists to physicians to nurses – understands and speaks good English.
As for all international travel, visitors to Israel, Palestine and Jordan should have travel insurance that covers them in case of illness or hospitalization. Pharmacies are to be found everywhere across the Holy Land and are very well stocked with drug store items and all the over-the-counter medicines you may need.
Should you become ill during your trip, your hotel front desk can arrange for a doctor to visit you in your room, and prescribe medication if necessary. If you are staying with friends or family, they will be able to refer you to their local clinic. In case of serious illness or injury, the emergency rooms at Israeli and Jordanian hospitals are western standard and you will receive the finest medical care. Most hospitals in Jordan, especially in Amman, are privately owned, and doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services.
You should carry prescriptions of any medicaments you may need, making sure you have the generic name as your specific brand may not be available.
FOOD & WATER
You can drink tap water. But, you will also find mineral water everywhere. It is important to make sure you drink a lot, especially when out walking and on hot days.
Palestinian cuisine is still about local produce, fresh herbs and the balance of ingredients in one single dish. It is also about a domestic sort of cooking marked by its reverence for tradition and ancestral practices.
Lamb and rice are staple foods and dishes like Kidrah and Mansaf, prepared for special occasions, are differentiated by the spices that are used and the way they are prepared and served.
Maza or mezzeh as a prelude to any meal is very much a Mediterranean practice. In Palestine, it consists of a variety of salads, both cooked an uncooked, and an assortment of pastry based finger food that no one can resist. A spread of Maza dishes can be substantial enough to be considered a full meal.
If you want to go traditional, then fruits are prescribed to end the meal: watermelons, melons, prunes, peaches in summer and oranges and all sorts of citrus fruits in winter.
Our food is yet another way by which you can explore the Holy Land.
The electric current in Israel AND Palestine is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. Most Israeli sockets are of the three-pronged variety but many can accept some European two-pronged plugs as well. Electric shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may require adapters and/or transformers, which can be purchased in Israel.
Jordan works with the same system.