Israel will allow all US citizens, including those living in the Palestinian territories, entry without a visa under the reciprocity agreement signed today. This was stated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. “This will allow any American citizen to enter Israel, and then, when Israel is accepted into the program, will allow Israeli citizens to enter the United States without a visa,” he said. “This is an important milestone that brings us closer to fully complying with the US government’s requirements to apply for the Visa Waiver Program.” He added that the implementation of the procedure will take effect on Thursday. The statement said all US citizens, including dual nationals and US citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, would benefit from the agreement. Until now, Palestinians with American citizenship cannot enter Israel through Ben Gurion Airport without obtaining a visa, but must enter through Jordan. Citizens of 40 countries are exempt from visa for short stays in the United States for leisure or business. Israel has been applying for years to be part of the Visa Waiver Program. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller specified that implementation of the agreement would be monitored, adding that the United States would decide by September 30 whether Israel could be included. The announcement came during the official visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to the United States, amid tensions between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who Washington considers “extremist” positions.
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