International SOS received a request for assistance from a company facing a critical situation in the far north of the West Bank (Palestinian Territory). The client had a foreign national employee and a relative who needed to evacuate internationally via Israel from Jenin, a controlled area of the West Bank which is considered a high-risk area. Securing their safe departure was complicated as special security clearance is required to enter this specific region.
The primary challenges included the increased security risks prevalent in Jenin and the strict permissions required for entry. The client's employees were also genuinely concerned about the potential risks as they attempted to leave. Upon arrival, our security partner was faced with the need to change routes and navigate through checkpoints, which created additional complications for the movement.
International SOS was able to arrange a secure ground transport option that was experienced in operating in this risk environment and that possessed the necessary permissions, ensuring they could reach the client's employees in Jenin. Once the employees were picked-up, their road movement required additional detours to avoid areas of unrest and encountered challenges at various checkpoints, in spite of having all necessary documentation.
After being unable to pass one checkpoint, they regrouped in Ramallah to coordinate on onward options. International SOS reached out to the relevant embassy’s emergency hotline to further support them. With the embassy's assistance, they were able to attempt a different checkpoint, and this time, successfully passed through into Israel.
Recognising the employees anxiety stemming from the challenging journey, International SOS engaged its dedicated Incident Management Team (IMT) that was deployed in Israel to meet them at Ben Gurion Airport ahead of their onward flight. Concerned about their safety and wellbeing, International SOS was able to provide dedicated support to put these travellers at ease.
The collaborative efforts of International SOS, its in-country security partners, and the IMT enabled the safe evacuation of the employee and relative from the high-risk area of Jenin. By efficiently addressing the numerous challenges posed by the environment and restrictions, International SOS ensured the wellbeing and safety of these travellers. This case underscores the crucial role of International SOS in providing comprehensive support in high-risk situations, from informative updates, initial evacuation to continued assistance and security measures.
We extend our most sincere gratitude and appreciation for your assistance with conducting two successful evacuations of our travellers out of the West Bank to safety. Your professionalism, composure and quick thinking during intense and high-stress moments was impressive. International SOS is the very best at what you do, providing unwavering support whilst under a lot of pressure, and with very little time to make things happen. Most importantly our employees are now safe. - Senior Manager, Travel and Event Security