a VirtualTourist member from Tijuana
Are you sure that it would be best to fly to Tel Aviv, not Egypt??? I have not even left the U.S. since I was 11 years old (16 years ago) and I have a passport that I recently renewed. What else do I need to do? Do I have to fill out anything like visa info anywhere? If anyone can even point out obvious things to do, I really would appreciate it, because they are not so obvious to me. Thanks so much!!!
I found some information on the US State Dept website at travel.state.gov/travel/cis_...
Looks like you have to enter through Israel, not Egypt. US citizens do not need a visa to fly to Israel. You can get a 90 day permit on arrival. About Gaza the website says:
West Bank and Gaza: Except during periods of heightened security restrictions, most U.S. citizens may enter and exit the West Bank on a U.S. passport, but only with an Israeli entry stamp placed in the passport at the port of entry. The Government of Israel requires persons wishing to enter Gaza via the Erez checkpoint to have prior written permission from the Government of Israel. U.S. citizens planning on traveling to Gaza should submit a request for entry in person at the Erez Border Crossing at least five working days in advance of their visit. With the exception of the Rafah crossing, it is not necessary to obtain a visitor's permit from the Palestinian Authority to travel to Gaza. From November 2005 until November 2006, the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open only for Palestinian ID cardholders and for persons in the specific excepted categories of diplomats, foreign investors, foreign representatives of recognized international organizations and humanitarian cases. Travelers planning to use one of these exceptions need to apply to the Palestinian Authority at least two days in advance of their planned entry through Rafah. Private vehicles may not cross from Israel into Gaza, or from Gaza into Israel, and may be stopped at checkpoints entering or leaving the West Bank. The Gaza Airport remains closed as a result of serious damage sustained in fighting during the past five years.
As I said in the previous thread, the only way for you to enter Gaza is via Israel. The Rafah crossing (directly from Egypt) is open only for Palestinians. As far as I know, no additional visas/paperwork is necessary to enter Gaza from Israel - if the crossing is open when you want to go.
Gaza is not really the best place to go if you have "no idea" You need to be switched on, alert, and sensitive to the plight of the local people. You cant get to Gaza unless you go through Israel. The Rafah border is a tentitavely open/closed border, and your best option is to travel from Telaviv.
you sound like you need some help to get started so I strongly suggest you go to Jerusalem FIRST stay at the Tabasco Hostel in the Old City and meet and greet a few people, fellow travellers, learn a bit first, before going to Gaza.
i never expressed an opinion on Gaza. But Im sure it is a great city. My point is that one should learn and research locally, before visiting a volatile place such as the gaza strip.