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How to get to Syria or Lebanon from Israel?

I’ll be headed to Israel in about a month and was also thinking about going into Syria or Lebanon. Problem is neither of these 2 countries will let you in if they find out you’ve even been to Israel, much less let you through the border.

I’ve got 2 passports but that doesn’t really solve the issue here since if I go overland(the preferred method) through Jordan to Syria, they will see that I came through the Israeli border and deny me entry. If I use my 2nd passport to hide that stamp (or just get them to stamp on a separate piece of paper), they will see I don’t have an entry stamp into Jordan and deny my entry. Any of you intrepid travelers come up with a good way around this? Will I have to fly into an intermediary country like Jordan or Turkey, pretend like I flew from the US, and try to make my way in from there?

by Tommy Huynh at 2007-11-14 09:01:54 UTC (ed. Mar 13 2008 ) San Antonio , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

A good way is to fly into Amman and get your 1st passport stamped (hence getting an entry stamp to Jordan), enter Disneyland on your 2nd passport and cop a proper stamping from the Jordanians and the Mickey Mouse crew, then exit D’land via the same border (Allenby/King Hussein Bridge). You then have the naughty stamps on your 2nd passport, yet have a Jordanian entry visa on your 1st passport… now, the only trick is to make sure the Jordanians don’t stamp that first visa as ‘invalid’. They weren’t doing this in Feb ’06 but this is obviously some time ago now.
Good luck!

by Ed Giles | 14 Nov 2007 10:11 (ed. Nov 14 2007) | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
perfectly legal and better is to fly or take the boat to Cyprus and use Larnarca as your cut-out to isolate all travel in Dixie from all other travel in the Middle East. From Cyprus you can go to Beirut no problem.

by [former member] | 14 Nov 2007 10:11 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→
You can ask in Israel not to stamp your passport.
I was in Lebanon in June, Flew to Amman, then to Tel Aviv, back to Amman and back again to Lebanon.
If you are entering Beirut from Amman, your passport(s) are stamped when you are arriving and exiting, so you will have an exit stamp on your second passport regardless of the entry stamp on your other passport that you used for entry from Israel.

by Kahtan Alamery | 14 Nov 2007 13:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Tommy I had a similar problem last summer and I only had the one passport.

The problem is the Jordanian entry visa. I asked them not to stamp my passport and put the visa on a seperate piece of paper when I entered Jordan at the King Hussein Bridge but then you have a problem if the Syrians look for your Jordanian entry visa and it’s not there when you leave Jordan to Syria by road.

I flew from Amman to Beirut because of this. I still had a problem when I left Jordan though. At the airport the immigration officer looked at my passport and asked where my entry stamp and visa was..on the paper. OK He then stamped my passport with an exit stamp. Doh. So I now have an exit stamp with no entry stamp in my passport. I had to kick up a fuss and was taken to see the head immigration officer in the airport who could not believe the chap stamped my passport as it was obvious and not required to do so. I now have an exit stamp but no entry stamp. They just put a cancelled stamp over the top which looked dodgy. I was sweating it at Beirut airport but they did not even look at the passport and gave me my Lebanese visa.

Regarding the Israelis and dont take this as 100% as they change things all the time but they no longer either stamp your passport or issue a visa on the paper. They told me all the information was entered via the biometric reader on the passport. Still got a hard time at Ben Gurion. Where’s your entry visa? Yadda yadda yadda. Now strip!

I would take Alans advice and go via Cyprus. I believe there are now regular services running between Larnaca and Beirut. I think there is also a service to Tripoli from Larnaca and of course a ferry to and from Cyprus to Haifa.

You can fly to Cyprus from London for about $120 US RTN.

by [former member] | 14 Nov 2007 13:11 (ed. Nov 14 2007) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Ah yes as Kahtan says you can always fly from Tel Aviv to Amman. Then it’s a not a problem if you have an entry stamp as it will be issued at the airport. If the Syrians ask where you flew to Amman from…well anywhere exotic will do.

This is probably the best option if you want to go by road from Amman to Beirut via Damascus.

If you take a bus or taxi from Damascus to Beirut you arrive in the Charles Helou bus station and there are several decent cheap hotels in walking distance from the bus stand.

by [former member] | 14 Nov 2007 13:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks folks, good stuff. I think I’ll go the Cyprus to Beirut route. Is Ben Gurion really that bad? I don’t mind the shakedown but I don’t want my camera gear and laptop confiscated and sent to me in a plastic bag like in the stories I’ve heard here. I’ll be traveling into Israel with my girlfriend who’s Israeli, I’m thinking this would help things?

by Tommy Huynh | 14 Nov 2007 20:11 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
You can’t go to any arab country, I think, besides Egypt and Jordan with an Israeli stamp in your passport.

by [former member] | 25 Mar 2009 18:03 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
tommy,
the best best way is to fly to Amman.
and then by road, to syria ans lebanon. very cheap and comfortable. more expensive via cyprus :2 flights.
in ben gourion, with your girlfriend, it will help, for sure.
forget your laptop if you don’t need it.

by arnaud prudhomme | 26 Mar 2009 12:03 | paris, France | | Report spam→
Thanks Arnaud, I already did this trip last year. The thread got bumped by that spambot. Thanks for your insight though.

by Tommy Huynh | 26 Mar 2009 12:03 | Saigon, Vietnam | | Report spam→
A good solution is to have 2 passports. You need to transit by Jordania and use your second passports to entry in Jordania and then in Libano or Syria.

by Levy Yann | 10 Feb 2011 18:02 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
can you do Israel last ? i did a big tour of middle east few years ago and turned up on the Israel boarder full of stamps from there “evil” neighbours, after a short interview and 3 hour wait they let me in ( this does not always work iv been told).

by [former member] | 10 Feb 2011 18:02 | Christchurch , New Zealand | | Report spam→
I’ve done this, it’s simple: When you reach customs at Tel Aviv airport, request that they stamp a separate paper, not your passport. It’s normal procedure for them. Fly to Amman, take $15 shared taxi to Damascus. To Beirut, I think the shared taxi from Damascus is about the same price.

by Timothy Fadek | 10 Feb 2011 19:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Timothy,

when did you make that trip?

by Robert W. Kranz | 13 Feb 2011 12:02 | Würzburg, Germany | | Report spam→
How can you get a second passport as an American? I’ve tried everything I can think of but the consulate will not give me a second valid passport.

by Nathan Keirn | 22 Jun 2011 05:06 | Hat Yai, Thailand | | Report spam→

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Participants

Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
Travel & Corporate Photog
Houston , United States
Ed Giles, Photojournalist Ed Giles
Photojournalist
Sydney , Australia
Kahtan Alamery, Kahtan Alamery
(Photographer)
Topanga, California , United States
arnaud prudhomme, photographer arnaud prudhomme
photographer
(photographer -)
Barcelona , Spain
Levy Yann, Photographer Levy Yann
Photographer
(Yann Levy)
Paris , France
Timothy Fadek, Photographer Timothy Fadek
Photographer
Berlin , Germany
Robert W. Kranz, Photojournalist Robert W. Kranz
Photojournalist
Staro Selo Topusko , Croatia ( ZAG )
Nathan Keirn, IT Nathan Keirn
IT
Okinawa , Japan


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