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Israel Faces Severe Decline In Tourism As Attacks On Gaza Result In Isolation: Tourism Body

22.02.2024 11:57

’Israel is cut off from world in terms of aviation, isolated like North Korea,’ says head of Israel's Incoming Tour Operators Association.

Many airlines have not flown to Israel since the attacks on the Gaza Strip started in October, and Israel has become an isolated country like North Korea, said Yossi Fattal, the CEO of the Israel's Incoming Tour Operators Association.

Fattal said 250 airlines operated in Israel before the attacks on Gaza, but the number dropped to 45 afterward, according to the Israeli daily Maariv.

"Israel is completely isolated from the world, as currently, 80% of the flights in Israel are carried out by planes belonging to the Israeli-owned El Al Airlines," he added.

⁠Israel's plummeting tourism likened to North Korea

The number of tourists coming to Israel has seen a serious decline following the attacks on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023.

While 900,000 tourists were expected to visit Israel in the three-month period after the start of the attacks on Gaza, this number was recorded as 190,000, according to the January report published by the Israeli daily Calcalist.

Fattal cited Hamas' victory against Israel for the country's current isolated state, emphasizing that Israel should have made it possible for tourists to still visit the country despite the war.

"It will take at least six months for Israel to restore its image and bring back the airlines, and it will take two or three years for the tourism sector to recover," he added.

⁠Israeli assault on Gaza after Oct. 7

The military wing of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, launched a full-scale attack on Israel to "respond to the continuous violations against Palestinians, and holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque," resulting in 1,200 deaths and 5,132 wounded on the Israeli side, according to the country's statistics.

Since the attacks of Oct. 7, nearly 30,000 Palestinians, with over 12,000 of them children and almost 9,000 women, have been killed, and close to 70,000 people have been injured during Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Defense Forces said 576 of its troops have been killed so far.

In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, 403 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and illegal settlers since Oct. 7.

*Writing by Emir Yildirim in Istanbul -

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