Tourism in Israel slumps to five year low

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A recent bloody wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians has hit Israel’s tourism, bringing it to a five-year low, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

Since the latest unrest began in September, the number of tourists to Israel dropped by 22 percent, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
In November, the number of visitors, including people who came for a one-day tour, declined to 234,000, “the lowest recorded since 2010,” according to the Bureau of Statistics.

The decline came as Israel was bouncing back from a major crisis caused by its 51-day-long offensive in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014.

The fresh blow to tourism came in the wake of a two-month-long spate of violence, which includes almost daily attempts by Palestinians to stab Israelis throughout Israel and the West Bank, and a heavy-handed crackdown by Israeli authorities.

The violence first broke in Jerusalem, Israel’s top tourist destination, with clashes at the flashpoint al-Aqsa compound, a holy site to both Muslims and Jews. It then quickly spread throughout the West Bank, Israel, and the Gaza Strip, claiming the lives of 19 Israelis and at least 110 Palestinians.

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