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ISRAEL CALLING GUIDE |

Calling To/From Israel Long Distance

Calling to Israel

Making Calls while in Israel

Other Information about Long Distance Calling To/From Israel

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Information About the Israeli Telephone System

Israel has the most highly developed telecommunications system in the Middle East. In 2005, almost 11 million phone lines were in use. Roughly three million of those are main lines, while nearly eight million are cellular phone lines.

Israel's national telecommunications infrastructure is 100% digital. In 2004, the World Electronics Forum (WEF) ranked Israel 7th in a global assessment of telephone and fax infrastructure and 1st in the availability of cellular phones.

Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to Israel

The American Embassy is at 71 Ha-Yarkon St., Tel Aviv (tel. 03-519-7575). The U.S. Consulate-General in West Jerusalem is at 18 Agron St. (tel. 02-622-7230; after hours 02-622-7250). In East Jerusalem, the U.S. Consulate-General is at 27 Nablus Rd. (tel. 02-625-3288). Many services for U.S. citizens in Jerusalem are at the East Jerusalem Consulate so be sure to check first which Consulate you need to visit. Both consulates are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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Other Important Information to Know About Israel

Time Zone:

GMT + 2.00 hours. Current time in Jerusalem

Currency:

The Israeli Shekel is approximately 4.2 shekels to a US dollar, or 8.3 shekels to a British Pound. Current exchange rates for Israeli Shekel.

Population:

7,100,000 (Ethnic mix: =Jewish 76.4% and non-Jewish 23.6%; Most non-Jewish are Arab)

Holidays:

Major holidays in Israel reflect the Jewish heritage of most citizens They include Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year, held in September or early October), Yom Kippur (a day of atonement considered the most holy day of the year for Jews, held in September or early October), Sukkot (a week of festival in September or October), and Passover (also a week long in March or April) During these four holidays, public transportation and services may be limited
Other important holidays include Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day, held in April or May) and Shavuot (held in May or June) Hanukkah (late November or December) and Purim (late February or March) are festive holidays, but their celebration does not affect public services or business operation.

Language

The official languages of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic, though Hebrew is more common in most of the country However, English is compulsory in Israeli schools so communicating in English with most Israelis should not be a problem

Climate:

Israeli seasons differ from those in the United States. There are really only two seasons: a cool to cold, sometimes rainy winter (late Oct to mid-Mar) and a warm to hot, dry summer (Apr-Oct) Though you can swim sometimes swim in Eilat and the Dead Sea during winter, the Mediterranean is pleasant only during summer Snow during winter is rare though you may see flurries in Jerusalem and the Upper Galilee Snow storms have occurred, but chances are slim.

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Fun Facts About Israel

  • Despite its small size, Israel features the varied topographical features of an entire continent.
  • Israel produces 93% of its own food requirements.
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 1,300 feet below sea level.
  • About 85% of Israel’s waste is treated in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Israeli cuisine reflects the diverse origins of the nation’s inhabitants with Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and North African influences.
  • The Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) in Jersusalem is the last remnant of the Holy Temple that was destroyed in 68 C.E.
  • Late dining has become popular in Israel. Weekday lunch specials often last until 5 p.m.!
  • Israel is currently reinvesting in its railroad infrastructure, but it is not yet as convenient and fast as intercity buses.
  • Falafel and shwarma are the most popular fast foods in Israel. They are served in pitas with salad and make cheap, fast meals.
  • In 2001, over a quarter of adult Israelis smoked. Since then, Israel’s antismoking laws have become among the toughest in the world.
  • The Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea offer a diversity of swimming experiences. Beaches tend to be lively, and paddleball is a popular beach activity.
  • The Municipal Tourist Information Office in Jerusalem can arrange day trips to assist with archeological digs during the summer months.
  • The Red Sea is one of the best places on earth for scuba diving and snorkeling.
  • Israel’s cities have active nightlife. Tel Aviv is considered the nightlife capital of Israel, and parties often begin at its popular beach.
  • Even small cities in Israel are home to impressive orchestras. Free music events abound, and the country’s many kibbutzim often host music festivals.
  • Shopping in Israel offers many bargains as tariff and trade agreements with many countries eliminate customs duties.
  • While in Israel, tip servers 10% unless a service charge has already been added to the bill. No tips are expected for taxi rides.
  • Israeli water is safe to drink, but various minerals could make you queasy. At the Dead Sea, avoid tap water!
  • In Israel’s major cities, a car can be a huge burden. Parking enforcement is tough, and there are many arcane driving regulations. Stick with public transportation in urban areas, and save the car for trips to the Galilee, the coast, or the desert.
  • Though fairly new, Israel’s wine industry is growing and offers many options.
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