By KTA News Team |

The Israeli Interior and Environmental Protection Committee has approved the amendment to the Law on Entry into Israel (Amendment No. 34) for the final legislation process (Vote 2,3). The approval came after a hearing by the committee which had representatives from various government ministries in attendance. The approval was unanimous, with no dissenters or abstentions.

The purpose of the amendment is to streamline the border control processes and obtain information about the passengers before their flight (or ship) arrives in Israel. This will be achieved by requiring the person in charge of the transportation vehicle to transfer the details of the passengers,  as indicated in their travel documents (manifest) to the Population and Immigration Authority in Israel.

In case of a passenger is not authorized to enter or depart from Israel, the border control officer will have the authority to notify the person in charge of the transportation vehicle, who must then refrain from transporting the passenger (i.e. not allowing the individual to travel to Israel at the port of departure to Israel).

Under the new law, an Israeli border control officer will be allowed to instruct a carrier not to transport a foreign passenger to Israel after examining their initial information about the person received.

The following individuals will NOT be subject to such instructions and checks:

  • Israeli citizens or
  • Israeli residents or
  • Holder of B-1 work visa with multiple entry visa.

The information can only be kept for specific individuals if it is essential for the purpose of investigating, preventing, or thwarting a crime. The entities that can receive the information include the General Security Service, the Intelligence and Special Task Force, the Israel Police, the Israel Tax Authority, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transportation, and others.

On the international level, the UN Security Council has made several decisions in recent years, requiring member states to establish API data systems (application programming interface (API) is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other). These systems must contain data from the passenger’s passport or travel document, including the passenger’s name, citizenship, type of travel document, its number and validity, and data about the airline and flight number.

Over 70 countries currently require airlines to transfer API data to them, and more are expected to do so in the future. The State of Israel is committed to international standards established by the International Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention), of which it is a signatory. As per the update of Appendix 9 of the convention, signatory countries are obligated to establish an information system of passenger details