U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (May 18, 2021)
Event: Security Situation
We are aware that U.S. citizens in Gaza have been impacted by the current security situation. The situation remains fluid. As of Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the Rafah Border Crossing from Gaza into Egypt will be open from 9am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. The Erez Crossing remains closed at this time and we do not have any information on when it might reopen.
The Embassy is available to assist U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents in coordinating your departure via the Rafah Border Crossing. Please note that any travel inside of Gaza, along the Gaza periphery and in the Sinai Peninsula is at your own risk. If you decide to travel, please first review the entire message below. In order to participate in this departure, please do the following:
1) If you have not already done so, for U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents currently in Gaza, please follow the link below and submit your information here: (https://bit.ly/2R4dY8P) U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Gaza. We can only coordinate travel for those individuals who have submitted your information to us via the process outlined here. If you have not completed the required form, please do not attempt to travel to the Rafah Border Crossing. We are only able to assist family groups if there is a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident traveling in your group.
2) Send an email to JerusalemACS@state.gov with a copy of the U.S. and Palestinian passports of each traveler; as well as a signed Privacy Act Waiver for each U.S. citizen adult (https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds5505.pdf). In your email, confirm the date that you plan on crossing at the Rafah Border Crossing.
3) Obtain a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your planned crossing at the Rafah Border Crossing. COVID-19 tests may be available at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (telephone +972-56-202-0500) between 10am and 12pm Sunday to Thursday, as well as some local hospitals and clinics in Gaza. The Palestinian Medical Relief Society is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/QSc7ZqpfsYoEM6GV7. The fee is approximately NIS 120 and results are available within 3 hours. (Note: The current situation has impacted COVID-19 testing; UNRWA and other clinics may be closed.) You may be able to obtain a COVID-19 test at the Rafah Border Crossing for a fee but we recommend you attempt to obtain one before arriving at the crossing.
4) Once we have notified the Government of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority of your intended travel, we will contact you by email to confirm that you are cleared to travel.
5) Appear at the Rafah Border Crossing at the earliest opportunity you decide it is safe to travel, between the hours of 9am and 4pm, with your U.S. passport or LPR (green) card, your Palestinian passport, your negative COVID-19 test, and sufficient cash. The exit fee from Gaza is NIS 76 per person and the entry fee into Egypt is approximately US $35.
6) Once you cross into Egypt, you may be required to find your own transportation to Cairo and/or onward points. If you require consular assistance from Embassy Cairo please send an email to ConsularCairoACS@state.gov.
7) Please email us at JerusalemACS@state.gov to notify us when you have crossed into Egypt and the names of the travelers in your group.
Any travel inside of Gaza and among the Gaza periphery is at your own risk. As security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution. In the event of mortar and/or rocket fire, follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling into Gaza and are restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity.
The Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula, as U.S. government employees are not authorized to travel to these areas (with the exception of the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; travel to Sharm El-Sheikh is only permitted by air)
Actions to Take:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Avoid demonstrations
- Monitor local media
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Enroll in the Department of Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency.
- Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Advisories, including the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Read the Travel Advisory for Egypt. Read the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Information for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. . Read the Country Information for Egypt. For additional information, refer to “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
- U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser St.
- U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon St.
- State Department – Consular Affairs
- 888-407-4747or 202-501-4444