Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Security Specialist, Alessandro Almerigogna, recently came back from travelling in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Here, he shares his account on how we carry out country visits in order to support clients and their people.
In mid-September the second round of a legislative election took place in Israel amid months of intense political debate and heightened regional tensions across the Middle East. It was in the week ahead of the vote that I travelled to Israel and the West Bank (Palestinian Territories) to assess the situation firsthand. The trip is one part of how our regional security teams form assessments and maintains up-to-date advice to support clients and their staff in-country. As part of this trip, I also carried out a Hotel Risk Review on behalf of a client organisation to provide their Security Manager with piece of mind on the hotel’s suitability, both during usual travel and as part of escalation planning. I was also tasked with meeting and building out our in-country provider network.
My journey started in Amman (Jordan), from which I crossed into the West Bank via the King Hussein/ Allenby Bridge border crossing and continued through various cities and sceneries. I experienced first-hand the process of entering/exiting checkpoints as well as other logistics challenges travellers faces in the territory. This information allows our teams to provide actionable insights to clients, particularly first-time travellers.
In Jerusalem, I experienced its complex geography including the conservative ultra-orthodox quarter to the contested alleys of the Old City, including flashpoint areas. I also travelled to Tel Aviv and had the opportunity to discuss the current situation in-country with our information network, including security counterparts and diplomatic representatives in the region.
As part of this trip specifically, I was tasked to visit cities along Israel’s southern border with Gaza, an area which has experienced several flare-ups in the past year related to rocket-and-mortar attacks originated from the Gaza Strip. I explored the coastal city of Ashkelon and the growing urban centre of Sderot, which, at its closest, is only one kilometre away from the Gaza border. Our in-country providers were able to provide details on how to operate in case of air raid sirens, explain the process of Israel’s Iron Dome system, as well as map out where relevant shelters are located. For instance, almost every and building is equipped with shelters and in Sderot these are also present every few meters.
As a final task, I carried out a comprehensive review of a hotel’s safety and security measures in light of the persistent risk of rocket-and-mortar attacks. All of the above is used to enhance our operational preparedness within the team.
We can help you find the right hotel in the right place. Watch our video on Hotel Risk Review.