Israel Allows US Citizens to Enter Without a Visa

Israel will allow all US citizens, including those living or temporarily staying in the Palestinian territories, a visa-free entry under a reciprocity agreement signed July 19 on the sidelines of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the USA.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20, 2023, all persons holding US passports will be able to enter the State of Israel without a visa. All US citizens are invited, including dual citizens and US citizens residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Later, when Israel gets accepted into the Visa Waiver Program, Israeli citizens will also be allowed to enter the United States without a visa.

Until now, Palestinians with American citizenship could not enter Israel through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport without applying and obtaining an entry visa. Their only option was to pass through neighboring Jordan.

Currently, citizens of 40 countries around the world can enter the United States without a visa if they are staying for a short time for the purpose of tourism or business.

“This is an important step that brings us closer to full compliance with the US government’s visa waiver program requirements,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office spokesman. Israel has been asking to participate in this program for years. But US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that Israel’s implementation of the agreement “will be constantly monitored by Washington,” after which a decision will be made by September 30 on whether Israel can be permanently included.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s official visit to Washington DC, where he tried to defuse tensions between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused by Washington of “extreme positions.”