Sudden Change in Entry Policy Leaves Travelers Stranded

YERUSHALAYIM -
British Airways aircraft at Terminal 5C in Heathrow Airport. (Kenneth Iwelumo)

Permanent residents in Israel (toshavei keva) must now present entry permits to board flights to Israel, a change made by the authorities without any prior notice, according to the Chaim V’Chessed organization on Thursday.

Until now, anyone presenting an Israeli identity document was allowed to travel, and that included permanent residents.

But on Thursday afternoon, passengers in London’s Heathrow and Paris’ De Gaulle airports were told that anyone attempting to board return flights to Israel must have an Israeli passport. Permanent residents, who are not issued passports, were advised to contact Israeli embassies to request entry permits to Israel.

The abrupt change in policy has left dozens of travelers stranded around the world.

Chaim V’Chessed CEO Paysach Freedman was in touch on Thursday with several Knesset members to enlist their help in facilitating the return trips of those who have been stranded.