220 volts, 50Hz; European-style two-pin and round
three-pin plugs are used.
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel.
Most of the population also speak English.
Tipping in Israel, according to the level of service, is
expected (unless a service charge is added to the bill).
Travellers in Israel should maintain a high level of vigilance
and keep up to date with developments. The risk of terrorist
attacks remains high and travellers to the region, including
Jerusalem, need to exercise caution particularly around locations
specifically targeted by attacks in the past such as bars,
nightclubs, markets and buses. Suicide bombers have targeted
crowded public areas resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries
over the years, and although foreigners have not been specific
targets, many have been caught up in the attacks. Check with local
embassies for the latest travel advisory notices. All travel to the
Gaza Strip and the West Bank should be avoided. There is also a
continuing threat of kidnap of foreign nationals in the Gaza Strip
and West Bank.
Israel is a largely religious society and religious customs
should be respected. Indecent behaviour is not tolerated and
offenders will be arrested and fined heavily or imprisoned. Care
should be taken not to photograph any military or police personnel
or installations, and visitors should be discreet about taking
photographs in Jewish Orthodox areas and of Jewish Orthodox people.
It is advisable to carry official identification at all times.
The majority of business in Israel is centred in Tel Aviv. Dress
tends to be less formal than in the USA and Europe, but business
people tend to dress in suits for important meetings or
presentations so formal attire is recommended. Women should dress
more conservatively, especially in strictly religious areas.
Business cards are usually exchanged, though with little formality
involved. Meetings often do not begin promptly and much time can be
given to socialising. Business hours are usually from 8.30am to
5pm, from Sunday to Thursday, and on Friday mornings. Sundays are
regarded as a normal business day.
The international access code for Israel is +972. The outgoing
code is 00 (not from public phones) followed by the relevant
country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). There are other
outgoing codes depending on which network is used to dial out on.
City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)2 for Jerusalem. Public phones
are card operated and are readily available, and instruction cards
state whether to dial 012, 013 or 014 for overseas. The local
mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements
with most international operators; otherwise mobile phones can
easily be rented. Internet cafes are available in the main towns
and tourist areas all over Israel.
Travellers to Israel do not have to pay duty on 250 cigarettes
or 250g of other tobacco products; 2 litres wine and 1 litre of
other types of alcoholic beverages; 250ml of eau de cologne or
perfume; and gifts to the value of US$150 for residents and US$125
for non-residents. Prohibited items include fresh meat and fresh
fruit (especially from South Africa).