Palestine Currency and exchange rate
The currency in the Palestinian Territories is the currency of Israel. That’s the
New Israeli Shekels (1 Shekel = 100 Agorot).
The “New Israeli Shekel” (NIS) was introduced on September 4, 1985 and replaced the old Shekel in a ratio of 1: 1000. On February 24, 1980, this had replaced the Israeli pound at a ratio of 1:10. The change took place because of the high inflation rate in the 1980s. The following bills are valid and in circulation:
- 200 NIS
So far, there is no separate currency in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. The banks in the area are firmly anchored in the Israeli banking system and use their bank codes and their payment transactions. Radical Palestinian organizations are demanding the dissolution of the customs and currency union with Israel. However, this would have catastrophic consequences for the ailing economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which is why this was initially rejected by the autonomy authority. Since 2010, however, there have been plans for its own Palestinian currency to be introduced after independence. This should then be called pound.
The Jordanian dinar is used as a second currency in the West Bank. It mainly applies to postage and postage stamps, bride prices and also the prescription of duties. Contracts are sometimes also made in US dollars.
You can find a currency converter here: www3.forium.de
There are only a few ATMs in the autonomous areas that can also be used by European cardholders. These are, for example, in Ramallah (HSBC and Palestine Bank) and also offer a choice of the desired currency.
Diplomatic mission in Germany
Visit Countryaah for a full list of Palestine embassies and consulates in each country around the world.
Representative office of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ramallah (West Bank)
13, Berlin Street
Tel.: 00972/2 297 76 30
Fax: 00972/2 298 47 86
Website: http: // www. ramallah.diplo.de
Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
PO Box 25166
Liaison Office 10, El Nasre Street
Tel.: 00972/8 282 55 84
Fax: 00972/8 284 48 55
Entry and exit regulations
Entry and Visa
Direct entry into the Palestinian Territories is not possible. You can only enter via Jordan, Egypt or Israel. For German citizens, entry via Israel is the easiest way to visit the Palestinian Territories . The following guidelines apply:
Tourists from the following countries receive a free visa from the Israeli authorities when they enter Israel: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Central African Republic, as well as Italy, New Zealand, San Marino, Spain, South Africa, and Uruguay.
This also applies to tourists in the Federal Republic of Germany, provided they were born after January 1, 1928, i.e. were not involved in Nazi crimes. Tourists from Germany who were born before January 1, 1928 also receive a free visa, which must be applied for at an Israeli diplomatic or consular mission in Germany before leaving their home country. The stay is limited to three months and the passport must be valid for more than 6 months upon entry. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland (Eire) also receive a visa upon entry, but must pay an appropriate fee.
If you want to apply for a Palestinian identity card, you can get it at Palestinian offices. However, Israel is responsible for issuing and revoking the identification number. A Palestinian passport, which is then valid for five years, may only be issued at the passport office on the basis of the ID mentioned. In order to be able to use it at the border, the passport data must first be transmitted to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior.
Import and export
The import or export of funds worth a total of 80,000 shekels must be registered. Such funds include cash, cashier’s checks, and travelers’ checks. The applicable “Customs Form No. 84” can be requested by telephone on 00 97 22/65 87 777.
Anyone who brings a vehicle into the country for tourist purposes must also take it out again. Otherwise, the vehicle owner has to declare the car in Israel.
Travel medicine, vaccinations and warnings
General, poisonous snakes
In the Palestinian Autonomous Territories there are only beginnings of a health system that absolutely cannot stand up to comparison with European standards. If you have serious health problems, you should travel to Israel in order to receive treatment there. It should also be noted that there are a number of venomous snakes in the autonomous areas, whose bites can be life-threatening. In the event of a bite, medical treatment – if possible in Israel – is essential.
In the Palestinian Territories, with the exception of leishmaniasis, diseases that are not widespread in Germany or Northern Europe are hardly to be expected. Under this premise, the following infectious diseases can be expected:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Tick bite fever
- Various intestinal infections caused by pathogens such as salmonella, shigella, amoeba, lamblia or worms
There is no compulsory vaccination for travelers. But the following vaccinations, which, by the way, should also be given in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, are recommended:
- Hepatitis A and B
There is no compulsory vaccination for travelers.
Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
Phone: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000
Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000
Entry into the Palestinian Territories is either through Israel, Jordan or Egypt.
If you want to enter the Palestinian Autonomous Territories by plane, you can currently only do so via Israel, from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. Via East Jerusalem we continue to the West Bank. The Gaza Strip can also be reached via Israel – via the Beit Hanour (Erez) border crossing. It is possible, albeit more complicated, to go via the airports in Jordan and Egypt to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Of the Palestinian airports, Yasser Arafat Airport near Rafah is unusable, while the former Jordanian airport Kalandia near Ramallah is claimed by Israel as Atarot-Jerusalem Airport and has been closed since 2001. The Israeli Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv is no longer allowed to be used by Palestinians. Air travelers from the West Bank can only leave the areas from the Jordanian Queen Alia Airport. Anyone entering or leaving via the Allenby Bridge should expect a lost travel day.
In order to alleviate this situation, it was proposed during the peace negotiations that Kalandia airport be transferred to the Palestinians or that they be given their own exit into the autonomous region in order to enable them to fly directly abroad.
The sea route to the autonomous areas would only be possible via the Mediterranean. In fact, the construction of a seaport has started in Gaza City, but it cannot be used due to the current Israeli blockade policy.
Visitors travel through Jordan by car. They use the Allenby and Sheikh Hussein bridges for this. From Egypt it goes by land via the Rafah border crossing, which is considered the gateway to the Gaza Strip. Cairo is a five-hour drive from Cairo. From Israel, an Arab Sherut takes you from the Jerusalem Damascus Gate to Ramallah for little money. If you usually don’t even need to show a passport when entering the West Bank at the checkpoint, travelers should by no means forget it for their return journey. For the return journey a taxi is more convenient, which will take you to the checkpoint at a well-negotiated price.
There are no rail connections to the Palestinian Territories. It is true that during the British mandate there was a coastal railway line that connected today’s Israel with Egypt and is even still in place in parts of the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian railway administration also still exists. However, operations have ceased.
Transport within the autonomous areas
Public transport in the Gaza Strip is provided by buses and shared taxis. The Arab buses and large taxis run a fixed route at a fixed price. Unfortunately, the buses only run until around 7 p.m.
Traffic in the West Bank also takes place exclusively by road. There are four types of roads: On the one hand, there are mostly poorly developed roads that can be used by all vehicles. On the other hand, these are roads that are only free for vehicles with Israeli license plates and only accessible for Palestinian license plates with special permission. There are also roads reserved for vehicles with Israeli license plates. Finally, there are the streets that are only allowed to Palestinians.
Palestinians cannot simply and easily leave the country or simply travel between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Even the Palestinians, who take a detour via Egypt and Jordan to switch back and forth between the autonomous areas, cannot just travel like that. The aim is therefore a transport link that allows Palestinians to travel between the areas without border control. For such a “safe passage” several ideas were put forward in the Oslo Accords. We will see.
Car traffic and roads
The high-ranking parts of the road network in the West Bank are mainly used by the settlers and are largely closed to Palestinian individual traffic. These roads are road 1 between Jerusalem and Jericho, which is open to all, road 443 between Modi’in and Jerusalem, and road 90 through the Jordan Valley. But this no longer leads through Jericho. Road 60 between Be’er Sheva, Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin and Afula no longer runs through Ramallah and Bethlehem.
All other roads that were not important for the settlers were initially neglected and only renewed by the autonomy authority with financial help from the World Bank. While the settlements have their own safe roads, some Palestinian towns have been cut off from the main roads (for example by building earth walls). This was the case in the Gaza Strip, for example, where there was recently a completely separate road system that was used exclusively for the settlers and was denied to the Palestinians. Such handicaps have disappeared since the Israeli withdrawal.
There are currently no highways in the Palestinian Territories.
The Palestinian ones correspond to the Israeli driving licenses and therefore the European class division. The modern notes come in the form of check cards and are purchased on the computer according to Israeli guidelines.