Israel’s Education Ministry has advised against school trips to Europe unless absolutely necessary.
In a special directive that went out to all Israeli schools this week, the ministry’s security department instructed schools to suspend all delegations and trips to Europe unless the students are accompanied by certified security personnel.
The directive specifically warned against visits to large cities such as Paris and Berlin, and added that in cases where the visits do go ahead, pupils are not to be allowed to use public transport or walk around on their own but are to stay together under their teachers’ supervision. While there are no unusual alerts over the targeting of Israeli citizens in Europe, the assumption of security services is that Israeli groups in Europe are at heightened risk.
The advice does not apply to the high school tours in Poland, where tens of thousands of young Israelis annually visit Holocaust sites, because of the extensive security already in place.
Sources at the ministry said they were unaware of any cancellations at this point and have no specific figures on the number of trips currently being planned.
The advisory was a consequence of a periodic assessment that takes place every few months. School principals will have to decide on each trip on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the recommendations.