All said and done, I had 2 missed bookings, 2 additional nights and a missed flight directly attributable to Israel’s over-dominant tourist police.
Crossing from Taba, Israel.
As I had to yell into the face of the border guard in Taba in order for him to stop kicking at my feet, “I’m a tourist, I’m visiting your country as a tourist. LEAVE ME ALONE”.
You may think I’m joking. I’m not.
I was physically and mentally poked and prodded, detained to 8pm, the time the border was closed, in the knowledge that I would not make it to the crossing in time.
I had a hotel booking in Jordan that night.
I had to sleep on a bench after having walked across Elat with a 14kilo backpack no money and no way of getting any.
Welcome to Israel. Sounds like your ideal destination doesn’t it?
After having waited at the airport for 6 hours the border guards detained me, again for no reason.
After having answered their questions and being searched for 20 minutes, they informed me I would not be allowed to board the plain because I was ‘Intoxicated’.
After sitting in the lounge for six hours, I had drunk a few beers, no more than a few.
So, the Israeli authorities finally let me know, after questioning me, searching my gear and finding nothing, that I was not being allowed on the plane because the “ThomsonFly authorities” had deemed I was too drunk to fly.
Only afterwards when I was escorted away, I met the “ThomsonFly authorities” who was a girl behind a desk.
Ultimately this decision lies with the cabin crew, it is at their discretion who boards the plane or not.
I was made to wait 2 days for another connecting flight.
Again, a ludicrous, un-necessary, illegal and in my view spiteful domination by the Israeli authorities.
Unnecessary, Pointless – Don’t expect an easy time
No explanation was ever given for any of the searches, detentions or delays I suffered at the hands of the Israeli authorities.
Once inside, I found Israel a chilled and generally welcoming bunch of people, but my treatment by the authorities made the difference between a country I would recommend, and one I would avoid.
If you are if in the region with stamps in your passport, I’m going to have to go with the latter; Avoid. Not because I didn’t like it, because the treatment you can expect may not justify your wanting to get in.
Consider your options, if you don’t particularly want to go there, don’t.