Israel has announced enhanced screening measures for all incoming travelers in order to secure national security amid rising global threats.

Beginning in August 2024, the Population and Immigration Authority will implement a mandatory electronic travel authorization (ETA) system requiring visitors from visa-exempt countries to obtain pre-approval before entering.

All non-Israeli passport holders must secure a valid ETA-IL permit confirming they pose no threat prior to boarding flights to the Jewish homeland. These stringent vetting protocols will remain in effect for up to 90 days per visit.

The new ETA screening system permits rigorous vetting of each applicant’s identity, travel history, and potential security risks. Any visitors representing threats – from jihadist infiltrators to pro-Arab radicals seeking to incite unrest – can have their applications denied and be barred from ever entering Israel.

To facilitate a seamless rollout, a pilot program will allow Americans and Germans to voluntarily apply for ETA permits beginning in June on a fee-free basis. All other previously visa-exempt nationalities will be phased into the system beginning the following month.

Despite being an inconvenience to non-Israelis, the ETA system reflects a harsh reality – the Jewish state’s tenuous security situation demands aggressive countermeasures against an array of potent threats. With anti-Semitic violence metastasizing worldwide and Islamist extremism engulfing the region, Israel can ill afford vulnerabilities enabling tourists to penetrate its borders undetected.

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