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Israel - Communications

Public telephones can be found in busy urban areas although most smaller places do not have them. The telephone directory may cause a few problems as it is in Hebrew, although an English language version is available on request if you need it. Places such as hotels and restaurants should already have an English language directory.

Many people are now opting for mobile phones rather than a standard landline phone. There are roaming agreements for those who have a phone from another country, but this is no guarantee that yours will work and using it in Israel can be costly. If you are moving to the country then it is cost effective to purchase a new mobile phone and sim card when you arrive. Mobile phone coverage is excellent, even if you are out in the desert. There are strict rules about using your mobile phone while driving and these should be adhered to as there can be severe penalties.

Internet usage is on the increase and many homes now have access to the internet. This is supplemented with the many internet cafes in the main towns and cities. A number of public areas also offer Wi-Fi for laptop users, such as railway stations, hotels and some restaurants.

The nation’s media is produced in Hebrew, Arabic, English and some items in Russian. Publications are privately owned and the state does not exercise any control over what is published. There are several English language newspapers and magazines which are published daily and weekly, along with English magazines. It may also be possible in the larger cities to obtain newspapers from the UK and the United States, although these will be expensive and may be several days old.

News programmes in English are broadcast daily on television and radio each day and there are several channels which show English language programmes from the USA and the UK. Householders can have satellite or cable television installed for a wider range of channels. There are a large number of licensed radio stations along with a number of pirate stations.

The Israeli post office is generally very reliable and open from Sunday to Friday. Saturday is the holy day and the post office closes at lunchtime on Friday in preparation for this. Sending a letter airmail to Europe takes around a week and deliveries are reliable, although people in more rural areas may find that having a post office box is much more convenient.

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