Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon: Security Situation

On 7 October 2023, rockets were fired from Gaza across southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There is currently a large-scale ongoing conflict occurring in areas of southern Israel close to the border with Gaza and within Gaza. Israel has expanded its ground operations in Gaza and military operations are expected to continue. The conflict has the potential to impact the security situation in the wider region.

Demonstrations and unrest linked to the situation in the Middle East are occurring in countries worldwide. If you're travelling overseas, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and follow the instructions of the local authorities. Monitor local and international media for information about possible safety or security risks.

The security situation remains highly volatile and fluid. We therefore continue to recommend strongly that those who want to leave Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon do so as soon as possible. International borders (air and land) could close at short notice. Your travel may be impacted.

Departures - Israel
Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport remains open and commercial flights are available, however airports may pause operations due to heightened security concerns. This may cause flight delays or cancellations. You should contact your airline to check your flight status, and the availability of flights, before travelling. We recommend that you also contact your travel insurance provider to see what insurance cover may apply in these circumstances. You may need to consider taking different routes to your original travel plans.

New Zealanders who are wanting to leave Israel but are unable to can contact the New Zealand 24/7 consular emergency line on + 64 99 20 20 20.

Flight schedules and operations could change or be interrupted at any time. We recommend strongly to those who want to leave Israel and can, do so as soon as possible.

Departures - Occupied Palestinian Territories
Options to depart the Occupied Palestinian Territories are extremely limited.

If you are a New Zealander in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and wish to depart, please contact the New Zealand 24/7 consular emergency line on + 64 99 20 20 20.

Departures – Lebanon
The ongoing conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has the potential to impact the security situation throughout Lebanon. There are ongoing exchanges of mortar and artillery fire in South Lebanon, on the border with Israel. Tensions are high and the security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. We now advise that New Zealanders do not travel to Lebanon. If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now via commercial options.

New Zealanders in Lebanon should be aware that commercial options for departing the country could be severely disrupted or cancelled at short notice. Airports and airlines may pause or cancel operations at short notice. Road transportation could also be severely disrupted. 

Current advice for New Zealanders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade now advises that New Zealanders avoid non-essential travel in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Higher levels (do not travel) apply to some regions. Read our full updated travel advisory here. New Zealanders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories should adhere to any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities, such as curfews and travel restrictions. Areas of military activity should be avoided at all times. If you are in an affected area, shelter in place until it is safe to leave.

New Zealanders throughout the region are advised to remain security conscious. The security situation remains volatile and violence could escalate at short notice. We advise New Zealanders remaining in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to monitor the media and stay informed of developments. Please also contact your loved ones back home to let them know that you are safe.

We provide general advice on contingency planning for New Zealanders overseas to consider here.

Advice for New Zealanders considering travel elsewhere in the Middle East
If you are currently travelling in, or considering travel to, other countries in the region, including Egypt and Jordan, you should read our travel advice before travelling for the latest information. Make sure you register your details on SafeTravel so that you receive any updates to our advice while travelling.

Monitor the media to stay informed about current events in your travel destination.

All New Zealanders travelling overseas should take out comprehensive travel insurance.

Consular Assistance
If you require consular assistance please contact the New Zealand 24/7 Consular Emergency Line on +64 99 20 20 20.

The New Zealand Embassy in Ankara, Turkey covers Israel and can be contacted at +90 312 446 3333 or at newzealandembassyankara@gmail.com.

The New Zealand Embassy in Cairo, Egypt covers the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon, and can be contacted at +202 2461 9186 or at enquiries@nzembassy.org.eg.

 

Associated Advisories:

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