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Driving a rented car in West Bank

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Madrid, Spain
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Driving a rented car in West Bank

Hello,

I'm travelling to Israel in november, and I plan to spend 4 days in Jerusalem. I wanted to visit Betlehem and Masada during the time I'll be based in Jerusalem. In order make this visits i tought of renting a car, nevertheless from what I've read in thsi forum I can not make my mind clear and that's why I'm posting the question:

I read that it is not possible to drive a rented car in west bank (under control of the Palestinian Authority) so rent a car to visit Betlehem would be out of question, but on the other side I read reccomendations that in order to drive to Masada from Jerusalem the best way is to take the route nr. 1 eastbound and then the route 90 southbound up to Masada, but this way 80% of the way will be on West Bank.

Can anyone make my mind up about the possibilities of driving through the palestinian authority to Betlhehem and to reach Masada?

Thank's a lot!!

Jerusalem, Israel
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11. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

rdglady: It seems you haven't been in Palestinian controlled territory for a very long time. The blue license plates (issued by the Israeli civil administration of the territories) have gone since 1997! Today's Palestinian license plates (issued by the PA ministry of transport) are green on white....

And Lobster is completely right: There are hundreds of yellow-plated (Israeli) cars driving around especially in Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah. But most of them are not driven by tourists, but by Arab businessmen from East Jerusalem. No safety problem with yellow plates as such....

NYC/Israel
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12. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

Matzchik---you are right and you are incorrect. I am constantly in the Judah/Sammaria (aka "West Bank") area while in Israel . However, my brain must have been 1/2 asleep when I wrote of blue plates ( and I did it more than once--oy!) You are 100% correct, they are green today. Thanks for the correction.

AND while East Jerusalem Arabs DO drive yellow plates there are also incidents with yellow plated vehicles. Israel has issued warnings NOT to depend on GPS in these areas and there are places where a tourist could make a wrong tern into and end up in trouble. I go to Israel twice a year, I rent a car part of the time and I won't drive into the "West Bank" I am aware of the dangers of wrong turns. ( although I have no problems going with Israeli friends or on the bus)

New York City
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13. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

Just to clarify. If you have a yellow plated rental vehicle, you can drive to the West Bank, including Bethlehem.

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14. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

UrbanNYC---There is one major problem with driving your yellow plated rental vehicle to Bethlehem. Most, if not all, of the major rental companies forbid it!

Jerusalem, Israel
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15. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

Another interesting twist to the car saga.

It's true that hundreds of Israeli cars are to be seen every day in Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Jericho, mostly driven by Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel.

However their Israeli insurance does not cover them. The more prudent among them also have insurance from a company in the Palestinian Authority.

Also there are thousands of Palestinians living in Area 'A' who have foreign passports from the USA, Australia etc. Most of them returned in the heyday of the 'Oslo' era. They are allowed unrestricted access into Israel and often have Israeli cars so they can drive freely. Thus a great many of the Israeli yellow plates seen in Area 'A' in fact belong to residents there.

Fred Schlomka

16. Re: Driving a rented car in West Bank

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