The occupied Palestinian territories, officially recognised by UNESCO in November 2011, are comprised of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Travel to Palestine requires a lot of preparation since many different obstacles can pop up at any time.
However, this shouldn't have any effect on visiting the historic, cultural and religious sites of Palestine. Nevertheless, travellers should keep themselves up to date on the political climate between Palestine and Israel. Visitors will also need to be patient during the many checkpoints and detours on the roads.
It is important to know that Palestine is divided into 3 separate zones: Zone A, controlled by the Palestinians; Zone B, controlled by both the Israelis and the Palestinians; and Zone C (the largest zone), controlled by the Israelis.
Beyond all this geographic and political complexity, though, Palestine is full of religious, cultural and historic sites to be visited. The birthplace of many religions, many visitors come to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage.
FCO travel update: the FCO continues to advise against all travel to Gaza (including the waters of Gaza) and to the Sheba'a Farms and Ghajjar along the border with Lebanon. The FCO advises you take care if travelling anywhere in the West Bank, particularly in areas close to refugee camps, in and around Israeli settlements across the West Bank and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. See full official advice.
We recommend finding a hotel in Bethlehem rather than in Jerusalem, as they are cheaper (around £24 in Bethlehem as opposed to £64 in Jerusalem).
Mezze are one of the main elements here (various hot and cold starters): hummus, tabouleh, vine leaves, grilled eggplant, chich taouk (chicken skewers), aubergine caviar, tomato salad, cucumber salad, brick, falafel, etc. This is all eaten with pita bread.
In terms of meat you will find two choices, chicken and mutton/lamb. What you need to try is shawarma, a pita filled with pieces of chicken or mutton, onions, tomatoes and sauce.
For dessert, you can enjoy a number of delicious Oriental pastries, but also plenty of different fruit (oranges, dates, figs, pomegranates, avocados and bananas).