Jerusalem, Israel: Dealing With Emergencies

Travel Tips — By Judy Lash Balint on July 29, 2011 at 5:55 am

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are repeatedly cited by travel magazines as some of the best cities in the world for travelers.  The combination of history, culture, innovation and natural beauty is hard to beat, and most travelers will never encounter an emergency situation — but, it never hurts to be prepared, so here are some tips for dealing with emergencies in Jerusalem.

If you’re an American citizen, you can check in ahead of your trip with the US State Department to learn about any warnings about travel in the area. Bear in mind that many of these recommendations are based on political considerations and don’t necessarily reflect the reality on the ground, but if it makes you feel safer you may consider them as you plan your trip.

Photo by zeevveez@flickr

Check in with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website for travel warnings, travel alerts, and country-specific information. You may also want to take a look at “A safe trip abroad,” which includes security information for Americans living and traveling abroad. If there’s a flare-up prior to your trip, you can get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the US and Canada, or outside the US and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

You can even register with the Department of State or through the State Department travel registration website so that American officials will know where you are at all times.

If you lose your US passport call the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7221 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575 during working hours. The after-hours emergency number for the Consulate General is (972) (2) 622-7250, and the same for the Embassy in Tel Aviv is (972) (3) 519-7551.

Other handy emergency numbers in Jerusalem:

  • Police: Dial 100
  • Fire: Dial 102
  • Medical Emergency/Ambulance: Dial 101

If you get into trouble on the street, there will always be someone around who speaks English, and Israelis are busy-bodies who are always willing to stop and help.

Should you trip and sprain an ankle, or fall and break an arm, take advantage of the Terem Emergency Medical Clinics that offer X-Ray and Lab services and English-speaking doctors for a reasonable fee.

For lesser emergencies, call the Tourist Information service  at *3888 or the Jerusalem Municipality 24-hour Hotline at 106.

Don’t be too surprised at the security precautions in Jerusalem — your bag will be checked at the entrance to every public building and most supermarkets and places of entertainment. It’s not unusual to find streets closed off for a short time while specially trained police for “suspicious objects” — abandoned or discarded bags — and occasionally blow them up with a robot.

As in most large cities, people are vigilant about noticing and reporting any suspicious people or objects. Act like an Israeli and do the same!


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