Living in Israel - some IT related moments

    Inspired by the recent post "How I Moved to Israel after Blocking Telegram" .

    From this article, you can learn about mobile communications and the Internet in Israel, local government services, peculiarities of the work of Israeli banks and mail, some "purely local" problems, as well as considerations about the possible causes of their appearance.

    In that post there is little information about some aspects of everyday life in Israel, one way or another connected with IT. Judging by the comments to the post, this topic is of interest to many. I will try to talk about what happened and occasionally come across. I am not a programmer, I cannot tell about the features of employment, interviews, vacancies in these areas, these questions are better for the author of the original post, but you will encounter the features mentioned here anyway, as many of them affect absolutely everyone, even tourists and other guests of the country.


    In this post will be present criticism of the current state of affairs in Israel. The purpose of this post is not to criticize Israel or incite any enmity. Please treat with understanding, because the moment is really painful for many.

    Please treat these notes as sketches and side observations. Even with this approach, there are problems, because many Israelis either do not notice the problems, or simply desperate to change something. Dissenters, as a rule, leave the country, because The press "do not dare to curse Israel" is very strong at all levels, from domestic to corporate and state.

    Many problems and issues are easy to solve technically, but impossible to reconcile in practice. The state, ministries, officials, and just the heads of anything are very inert. This inertness is often explained by everything in succession — by religiosity, “special Middle Eastern” mindset, difficult stories, evil neighbors, special national motives — there are many reasons for this, but as a rule, if they come up with reasons, it is still there.

    Language policy

    In Israel, there are exactly two official languages ​​- Hebrew and Arabic. The State of Israel is doing its best to get everyone to learn Hebrew. This is a painful moment, because the language is really difficult. Being Semitic, he is not like any other European. It does not look like Turkic languages, therefore neither Tatar, nor Kazakh, nor Uzbek will help you. He has his own script with its own characteristics.

    The main problem of the language from the point of view of IT is writing. Yes, it is not Latin. And also from right to left. And, as a rule, without vowels. The combination of these factors creates a mass, a ton of problems, adding to the difficulties in designing local information systems.
    If you do not know the alphabet, you will feel “like in China” and will literally tear your hair out. Unable to read the name of the product in the store. Signboard A sign on the bus. Address on the envelope. Your name is on the list !!! It is an “absolutely Chinese” language for anyone who does not own this alphabet. You can find someone who will speak with you in the same language. Many people in Israel speak English, Russian, French. There are Russian curators, officials, Russian channels, Russian news, Russian shops and newspapers.

    NO unity. There are no clear standards and unambiguous record. For example, you do not own Hebrew and you need to know the bus schedule for a particular bus stop. At the bus stop it will be written, for example, אוסישקין. What it is? We photograph, google, translit. Ussishkin. Ussyshkin, good. We are looking for a site with a bus schedule and at least some English in the interface. Enter Ussishkin. "There is no such stop." Why? And because someone "translated" this name as Ussyshkin or even worse, as Vsshkin . Make hints or auto-substitution, taking into account the variety of possible options? What for? Teach Hebrew! Sign at the stop in Latin? What for? Tourists on city buses will not go! At such moments, you thank all the gods only for the fact that in Israel you still use familiar numbers everywhere instead of writing numbers with Hebrew letters ...

    Another example is סמלנסקי , Smlnski. Is it Smilyansky or Smolensky? And the one and the other! Take a bite, you can not guess! Accordingly, if somewhere something is signed in English, in another place it can be signed in English in a completely different way. This would not be a problem if the input forms allowed such ambiguity and suggested clues. And this is far from everywhere. So in the address. And if there is the letter "W", "F" or "J"? Chernyakhovsky, he is Tchernichovskiy and he is Chernyakhovsky ! טשרניחובסקי

    the Heil Ha'Avir or Kheil HaAvir? Answer: “Write as you please, Israel is small, they will understand it!” They will understand, of course, and this ambiguity is no different from the ambiguity of the level “Lenina st. 1-2 ”VS“ ul.Lenina, d.1, kv.2 ”, if only there were no situations when you have to remember or guess which of the possible variants is“ correct ”. "Correctness" is relative, and each has its own. Forms for entering a delivery address, a navigator application, a post office, a taxi, a website with a bus schedule - if you don’t know how it is in Hebrew or how it sounds right, you can feel embarrassed.

    The reverse is also true - you can write a non-Hebrew word or name in Hebrew in different ways. Require "as in the passport" wherever possible. Otherwise there will be problems.

    I’m voicing an unpopular opinion - the modern IT world is not really designed for right-to-left writing. Unicode support is not enough here, fonts are also not the biggest problem, the problem lies in the heads of both developers and users.

    For example, here is a simple login form on the site. The cursor carefully jumps to the rightmost border of the input field.

    And the password field (second field) accepts a password in Latin input and numbers. But at the same time the form is still designed as a Hebrew, with the display of the entered characters from right to left! And what kind of password to come up with during registration so that it can be entered in the same way in direct order and inverse? Well, except symmetrical, something like Aaa11aaA .

    Cursor, jumping here and there, in general, from now on, your companion for a long time. This is how the right-to-left and left-to-right text blending is implemented in one line.

    This is the example of Hebrew text: עִבְרִית

    One click of the arrow and the cursor flies to another part of the phrase. The same with the Delete and Backspace buttons, which start to work inversely, acting in reverse at the most inopportune moment. Is the space before the Hebrew word - is it still “left-to-right”, or already “right-to-left”?
    Annoying worse than the "drunken camera" in the old games about Lara Croft! Hands off for such a design! Usability, interfaces, controls - all this is very lame. Right-to-left writing breaks the patterns. You can not just take the usual design or template of some CMS and apply it on the Hebrew-language site. It’s not even necessary to simply “mirror” it, but to think carefully about all aspects that directly affect the usability of this site or interface. As a rule, beautifully and universally does not work. And to make the “European” version of the site fundamentally different from the Hebrew version, usually do not bother.

    One of the most obvious difficulties is not another language in itself, not another script, but their mixing in one place with traditional European.

    In the Arab world, exactly the same problems. Here you can read what difficulties arise when developing and localizing applications in Arabic and how to overcome them:

    The Hebrew keyboard layout looks like this:


    More examples Hebrew letters on a real keyboard There are

    English letters (Latin) on the keys. If anyone needs a Russian keyboard, you can order, buy stickers or even find them in some Russian stores.
    “Alphabetical” or “phonetic” principle is practically not observed, the layout is completely different, special, not tied to the Latin alphabet. Those. ג is not on the G key , א is not on the A key, etc. In this case, ז still laid on the press the Z , and ר to key the R .

    All “multilingualism” rests on the position of the state “we are different, but we want Hebrew to be spoken in Israel”. The state does not interfere with your communication in another language. The state gives you the opportunity to learn Hebrew for free. The state will not penalize anyone for speaking Russian. Open a Russian store or club, too, there are no obstacles. But the choice of ordinary people simply do not have. Without Hebrew, you are not even mute - you are deaf and blind, you cannot read or write, and around you 100% China. One way or another, you will learn it. At least the alphabet.

    In English, you will be spoken not only in museums and tourist places such as the tourist information center, but simply not the fact that you will be spoken in English or Russian at the post office, in the supermarket or at the checkout counter of the urban transport service center, where you can solve the issue with the pass. The language question can arise even at the ticket office of the central bus station! And what about the wonderful situation “I say, but I do not understand”? The person will tell you that yes, he speaks English. Listen to you, carefully nodding. And then it turns out that he doesn’t understand anything of what was said and is waiting for you to repeat everything to him in Hebrew. Even if it is stated that a particular employee speaks English or another language, this does not mean that his knowledge of the language exceeds the level of “Halloween, Mr.”.

    Israel is multilingual and multicultural, as long as you stay at a distance from it. It is easy to hear Russian speech in a supermarket or train. We went to the Russian store, saw the Russian-speaking pensioners on the bench. As long as you do not need to go to a regular supermarket, take a regular city bus or buy a travel card, everything will be fine. Until you came to the post office to send a registered letter, instead of buying a postcard or souvenir. As long as you do not need to recalculate the electricity or connect your home phone. While you buy a SIM-card with the Internet "out of the box" only for 2 weeks and do not think about how to replenish it.

    In Israel, the method "I do not know the language, but I can at least read the letters." Turkish, Vietnamese, Malay, at least use your usual writing. You may not be able to correctly read Tiếng Việt diacritics, but these letters are at least familiar to you. You can write them down and read them somehow. Here everything is different.

    Again, not in the order of holivar, but I can not cite as a quote the words spoken in 1935 by Haim Weizman - a scientist, a liberal, a European intellectual and the future first president of Israel: “We did not come to Eretz Yisrael. life of Warsaw, Pinsk and London. The essence of Zionism is the change of all values ​​that the Jews learned under the pressure of foreign cultures . So it happened.

    Internet in Israel

    A huge pain question for any IT person. And for a simple "modern man." A topic that they don’t like to discuss constructively - “Why, because we have such a beautiful advanced IT-country! Everything is perfect with the Internet! ”Or, on the contrary, the Internet is like a usual eternal topic for grumbling“ how bad we are ”. What is fuss?

    In Israel, a distinction has been made between the “areas of responsibility” for the data link provider (infrastructure operator, “tashtit”) and data transfer provider (Internet access itself, “sapak”). Most often, payment is made by two accounts, two sums to two different companies. Well, or in the case of autopayment, each company independently issues its own invoice and withdraws money for its services.

    Infrastructure providers are few. The main two - Bezeq(“Bezek”) as the largest telephone company and HOT (“Hot”) as the main cable television operator.

    Bezeq, among other things, manages the telephone stations of conventional telephony and has substations, crosses, wells and other wiring elements on the balance sheet. This is a large, unhurried and unwieldy elephant, which has very little to do with it. Former state telecom, now privatized. You can imagine how “Rostelecom + MGTS”, such a “two in one” with all the worst that they have from each. Since this is a telephone company, the main type of “line” they can provide for you is telephone copper “noodles” and the ability to connect to the xDSL Internet. They have their own “pocket” Internet provider - Bezeq Benleumi (“Bezek Beinleumi”). Even with the choice of "their" provider, the Internet payment is carried out separately, on a separate account. You can choose any Internet provider that can capitalize on this infrastructure. If they need to cross the line or something else, it will be their trouble. You only need to change the login and password in the modem.

    The type of connection possible depends very much on the location. The condition of cable lines, as well as PBX (and the place where they have station equipment) is very different. Somewhere there is a muddy “noodle”, a bunch of twists and capacitors on the way to the station, as a result, ADSL cannot consistently reconcile 2 Mbit / s, and somewhere a “new” line, DSLAM almost in the same house, and VDSL2 speed under 100 Mbps.

    But in general, on the "Bezek" very quicklyhappens rarely. Wires are sometimes torn, telephone wells can be flooded (all of a sudden, yes, but sometimes), cars sometimes bump into telephone closets on the streets. Sometimes the wire breaks and cuts the army, for example, during the elimination of digging and tunnels. Arabs are also a frequent cause of damage to lines in certain areas. Damage eliminated long enough.

    HOTOperates primarily cable television (conventional analog as well as digital cable TV DVB-C). Accordingly, it is in charge of coaxial antenna wires (in the CIS, this would be a “collective antenna”, respectively, HOT is such an analogue of the provider Akado / VOL). And provides the ability to connect to the Internet via coaxial cable (DOCSIS protocol). As a rule, faster. If the equipment pulls DOCSIS 3.0, speeds of up to 300 Mbps are possible. If the line is “seam”, then DOCSIS is no more reliable and stable than ADSL.

    Just HOT had the option of paying one bill to 1 company and for the Internet, and for the line, and for the modem (if you did not buy your own).

    Everything else is quite rare. Optics FTTx, GPON, Ethernet to a flat or stationary LTE modems / routers are rare. Now there are new infrastructure providers that promise optics to the subscriber. The coverage area is still quite small. If a good Internet is crucial - you should look at these companies, at least you can always connect HOT or Bezeq, and this is a choice and reserve. Optics are now offered by Unlimited (Russian site) and Partner Fiber .

    Modems and routersBoth provider and regular ones are offered, which can be bought in the store. Providers can both be bought into the property and rented. Renting a modem is another way to shake some money out of the subscriber. And if he bought the modem more than a year ago, you can write off any failure that the modem is old and broken, i.e. so say, buy one more, and with it, everything will work exactly as the clock.

    There are a variety of modems and routers, like OEM, under the brand name of the provider (in fact, the simplest Chinese, like ZTE and Huawei, and sometimes D-Link, better - usually Netgear), and "regular", which can be bought in the store.

    In the photo "provider" VDSL-router D-Link DSL-7850U ​​from the company "Bezek"

    DOCSIS equipment is mainly of Netgear, TP-Link brands, both conventional and branded - under the HOT Box brand, these are also found on the Sagem base, and where only DOCSIS 2 comes across, every kind of old “Americans” - Arris, Scientific Atlanta, were previously and "Motorola" type of all known SB5100.

    Web-interface HOT Box'a based on the modification Sagemcom F @ ST 3284

    The “Internet does not work” repair algorithm is the same everywhere — you call by phone to make a request. 10 times you make your way through the first line, reboot the modem 10-20 times, make a request to leave the technician, which you then forget about. Remind you. Pull up to Shabbat. Shabbat. Forgot again. Compensation (“pizza”) is generally due for non-arrival of a technician or his late arrival, but it is also rather difficult and time-consuming to knock it out. Everything is complicated by the language. A lawyer will help, and with the language, and with the bureaucracy, but this is money. Big money.

    Internet providers (“sapak”) are much more. From large and long-known, such as NetVision , or the same cellular operators - Cellcom, Partner in the first place, to incomprehensible offices with a digital name like 011 , 012 ,018 , and the like.

    To change the Internet provider, sometimes you need to change the login and password in the modem, and sometimes nothing is needed. They are calling you on the phone, asking about a profitable Internet, you have not clearly voiced your refusal, or your grandmother dictated the elderly card number without understanding it - bang - and the application is ready to switch to another provider on the same line. Since you have not disconnected from the previous provider, the money from the account will be taken both.

    Another opportunity for requisitions is to provide additional services. For example, Internet providers may offer antivirus subscription or some content filtering (Parental Control). Often, such services are imposed, such as 3 months for free, then you need to turn off yourself. By phone. In Hebrew. Did not see / did not read / could not - pay.

    One of the travel rates on the Internet for review: Bezek line + Bezek Beinleumi provider: VDSL, speed up to 40 Mbit / s, 140 Gy per month, plus another 45 shekels per month per line (infrastructure). In total, there are nearly 200 shekels, which is about $ 54 .

    No censorship on the internet. There is no IsraComNadzor, no “black lists”, or “great firewalls”. All sites are open to the public, including Arab ones. It happens that individual Palestinian sites are unavailable, but there are no state intrigues in this, rather the provider’s crooked routes.

    Banks and payment systems

    There are few banks in the country, about a dozen. The largest, perhaps, 4: “Hapoalim” (hapoalim) , “Leumi” (Leumi) , “Discount” (Discount) and “Mitsrahi Tefhot” (Mizrahi-Tefahot) . There is also a postal bank of Israel - Bank haDoar , a local equivalent of the Post Bank. The only bank, without question opening the Israeli bank card to a non-resident. About this below.

    IBAN in the European sense is not used in the country. Israel does not use IBAN and SEPA even for payments in the EU. Separate banks use the same IBAN principle for transfers within Israel between banks, in order not to indicate full details. In Israel, this is called העברת זה"ב

    And so, the full set of requisites for transfer within the country looks customary and sad. Name, surname, name of the bank, bank code, division code, account number.

    PayPal in Israel is full. There is an interface in English. You can receive money and withdraw it to an Israeli bank account by requisites, as well as to a US bank account and some cards.

    The interface of the binding of the bank account to PayPal

    All SWIFT-transfers from abroadon control, and not even tax, but by the bank itself, or rather its financial monitoring. For transferring even your own money from your own account from Russia or another country you can get, usually call the bank, the manager, ask to collect documents from where you have this money. Excuses of the type “car sold in Russia” are not rolled, they often want the translation of documents (yeah, a receipt from the buyer or a contract of sale). The “earned” option works well with some papers such as Upwork contracts. Scare taxes and fines.

    There are no “local” payment systems, or they are not very popular. "Throw me money on the card" is rare. In special cases, the type of car purchase is preferred by a check (!!!), a receipt or payment directly at the bank (as a deposit into an account or a payment order from your account to the seller).

    The check of the bank "Leumi"

    "Remote" banks, "virtual" banks did not exist before. Now there is at least 1 - the Pepper project on the Leumi platform. A kind of "Rocket" on the basis of "Discovery". There is already visible progress in the mobile application. There is an option “transfer to another bank client by phone number”, “other client” can be not only a Pepper client, but also a regular Leumi client. The service itself is still carried out by Leumi.

    Deposit interest rates are very low. 0.01% is not bad.

    Internet bankingin most cases only in Hebrew. Everyone has. There are Russian-speaking and English-speaking managers in bank branches, if you have a premium service or a corporate account, you can secure a Russian-speaking manager, but this does not solve all the problems. You will again receive SMS from Hebrew banks and go to Hebrew-speaking sites.

    Nevertheless, the main banks have small Russian-language sites, some even publish tariffs and terms of service in Russian (the information is not always up to date and complete, the Hebrew version is always considered the main one). The list of banks contains links to Russian and English versions of sites where they are. You can visually assess how much less information there is compared to the Hebrew version. In the case of the bank "Hapoalim" (almost the leader) - in general“Pshik”, not a website :

    “To be first is obliging!” (Bank slogan)

    All banks have mobile applications, but are generally inferior in interface quality and abundance of Russian functions (Sberbank.Anline, Alpha, RocketBank), Ukrainian ( Privat24) and many European banking applications. Pepper here is a nice exception.
    The interface of the bank "Mitsrahi-Tfakhot"

    Of the interesting features, almost all banks have the option of cashing a paper check through a mobile application. Sending a paper check to the bank is not required.
    Here you can read about using the Leumi mobile bank client with illustrations, transfers and explanations.

    There is an interesting phenomenon - Casponet ATM network (Casponet)not owned by any of the banks. Separate ATM company. Their machines also know how to charge travel cards and make payments for some bills. The interface is poor and only in Hebrew. Not in Hebrew, you can only withdraw cash with a foreign card.

    Service in banks is almost always paid - there is a fee for maintaining an account. Free service by the condition (turnover, account balance or volume of transfers) is practically not encountered.

    The following dialogue is not uncommon:
    Banker (B): Thank you for choosing our bank. For you special offers - account maintenance for 6 months for free, then 30 shekels per month.
    Client (C): I think, in the “Other Bank” I was promised 1 year free of charge and 25 shekels per month.
    B:Oh, in this case, I can offer you 9 months for free, two gold cards and 20 shekels a month later in the first year!
    K: It suits me!

    With all you need to bargain. With banks and mobile companies - it is necessary. After a year or after the expiration of the contract, many call the bank or the cellular operator, and say they will go to another. In response, they are almost always offered a discount or a more advantageous tariff plan. Far from all reach the actual transition. And this is a difficult, painful process, especially if you do not like to talk on the phone, sort things out, prove something or convince. Even if you have seen an advertisement and brought a leaflet, you may be told that this tariff is no longer present, or that it is only for new customers, or vice versa, only for deserved old customers, etc. Constantly have to push, demand, insist.

    Bank cards

    Israel has its own national processing center for bank cards, and not even one. If not mistaken, there are three: IsraCard, LeumiCard, CAL. They are managed jointly by the bank and the state, and this makes it possible to conduct operations within Israel on the cards and accounts of different banks without recourse to the international payment system (Visa or MasterCard). Approximately how Russia can now make payments on MasterCard cards in Crimea without pulling MasterCard itself with the help of NSPK. At the same time, Israel does not need to issue its cards (like "MIR", "Pro100", "BelCard"); outside Israel, operations will go through Visa / MasterCard.

    You can open a card to a non-resident without an Israeli identity card or without documents entitling to permanent residence in only one bank - in the Israeli postal bank(ask about the card in the mail). Three documents will be needed: a passport, visa or entry card (issued at the border) and any other document with a photograph from the client’s country of citizenship. Usually want a driver's license, but there are other options. You will also be asked to give the address in Israel. The result will be the receipt of a MasterCard debit bank card in dollars, shekels or euros, which can be paid where only an Israeli bank card is required.

    Also, this card has an Israeli account number, and in principle it is possible to deposit money by bank transfer, but with some restrictions, which, unfortunately, I don’t know the details.
    Internet banking without an Israeli ID will not be able to connect you. You can extract the statement and replenish the cash card by mail. You can pay by card on the Internet and in retail outlets, as well as withdraw money from ATMs (with a commission). The card is valid for 3 years or 5 years (depending on the batch of cards). The card is not specific, is issued by mail immediately after registration. The cost of the card is 45 shekels (approximately $ 12.5).

    The tax code and address in the country of citizenship are not asked, I believe that according to OECD / CRS , nothing is reported to the tax country of citizenship. Ordinary banks, by the way, reported. Therefore, a repatriate has a hypothetical chance to face a request from the Russian tax authorities for opening an account abroad.

    Most credit cards, even "debit" cards have some features of credit - a limit on access to their own funds in the account, the ability to spend money in installments (on a "debit" card), overdraft.

    Even if you pay in the supermarket with a “usual” credit card, you can use wild combinations like “100 debit now from the account, 100 not to take credit from the bank’s money and now not to take 100, but to issue them in installments for 3 months in installments”.

    How much and how you write off your account is quite difficult to control. Many operators (communications, bank account management, insurance, taxes, utility bills) are able to independently debit money from your bank account as they please. This mechanism of auto payments is called “oraat kev”, and earlier it required the client’s signature, but now it has been abolished, and it is enough to correctly name the card data so that the recurrent payment is “hung” on it.

    The “American” moment, it is not particularly customary to monitor the balance in real time. Posting on the account may take some time. Installment, overdraft and credit limits are accounted for separately, and are not always visible as a movement of funds in the main account. Online alerts such as Push or SMS is not all. It is generally accepted once a month to carefully study the statement sent by the bank and just to sort out the call if something does not agree.

    All cards are magnetic stripe . Even if the terminal can read the chip , they will still use a magnetic strip. On the chip with a high probability of failure will come from the processing. PayPass, Google Pay, Apple Pay are not supported almost anywhere. Only Samsung Pay works on devices with magnetic strip emulation.

    A remarque - many Israeli cards have a chip. The bank will say "this is for payment in the EU." Why not use the chip in Israel?

    post office

    Mail in Israel is very popular because it, among other things, pays utility bills, pays taxes, checks out a vehicle for a database, receives and sends money transfers, and works with Post Bank bank cards.

    In post offices there are electronic queue terminals where you can choose the service you need and the desired language of communication. The language of the terminal's messages and the language of the inscription on the number depend on your choice of language, but not the language abilities of the cashier who will serve you. You can select “Russian” or “English” until it stops, but the cashier can easily be “not a boom boom” in any language other than Hebrew and Arabic.

    A registered letter abroad costs from 15 shekels (not tracked in the USA, Canada and Australia, a track number like RR ... IL, reaches most countries of the CIS, EU and USA in 15 days) up to 30 shekels (custom "1st class", full tracking, in the US and the EU goes for 7-10 days, the number of the type LX ... IL).

    Parcels from abroad are taxed.
    In no case do not send a parcel with goods to Israel by express mail EMS - EMS always fall under customs payments, they are not subject to duty-free limits. The base duty-free limit is $ 75. For some categories of goods (cosmetics, tobacco, alcohol, drugs) the limit does not apply even in the case of regular mail.

    Mail delivery within Israel (by country) is fast. On average, the letter goes 1-3 business days from import to delivery to the addressee.

    Israel Post Tracking Page in English

    Maps and Navigation

    Maps and navigation in Israel are undeveloped. There are simply no maps of the “Yandex” or “2GIS” level. Google Maps is usable, but no more. The streets are often crooked, there are no houses, the names of the streets and the signatures of the objects are written as someone. Map details are very, very low. Houses? Passages? Railway? No, that you. There is a "popular" opinion that bad cards are made on purpose so that no missiles are used to guide them. And also, apparently, that crazy trucks go astray on the way. However, where to go astray is.

    For car navigation, local users most often use Google Maps, the creepy “social navigator” Waze and the old iGo.

    The best maps of Israel from among those that I saw were on OSM. The OsmAnd application and with reservations Maps.Me on the phone literally saves. In OsmAnd + you can rigidly set the language of the cards, and enjoy at least some English instead of Hebrew.

    The quality of the cards can be seen immediately. Here, for example, Jerusalem, the same district of Pisgat Zeev, near the tram depot.

    Google Maps:


    Electronic state services

    Developed rather poorly. While there is still no single "centralized" portal, there are separate electronic forms and applications on the websites of departments. In the future, perhaps, the site will nevertheless become that “single portal”, which will collect all possible functions, but for the time being it is necessary to be ready for separate forms of different design and usability on the websites of departments.

    User authorization and payment is carried out by last name, ID number and bank card. One time it took a special plug-in to the browser such as EDS, but no need to get any certificate or key to go. IE is also not required, under modern browsers everything works and so.

    You can evaluate the usability of the process on the example of online ordering a new biometric foreign passport ("darkon"). The link describes the whole process step by step with screenshots and comments.

    The main identifier of a citizen in Israel is the identity card number (“Teudat Zeut”). The number consists of 9 digits, assigned at birth or during repatriation (a new immigrant with a visa for permanent residence arrives in the country, BEFORE border control, FIRST, Israeli documents are issued, for this they are also brought to the Ministry of Interior in the old airport building (Ben-Gurion Terminal 1 "), then they are brought back, and he passes the border already as a citizen of Israel).
    Knowing someone else’s teudat-zeuta number you can do a lot of bad things with credit history, connect some kind of contract or auto-payment, also there are always stories about paying for someone else’s emergency call and the like.

    The number contains a checksum and can be easily checked for validity automatically.
    Learn about the format and description of the verification algorithm .

    There are a lot of implementations of automatic validation:


    Again, an unpopular opinion: you can live in Israel without a car. Even in some kibbutz. Public transport IS, it is modern, clean, comfortable, and even quite a regular, if you understand it. The logic is there, but not always obvious.

    Example: Until mid-2017, there was NO ONE direct route between the country's largest airport (Ben-Gurion, TLV) and the capital (Jerusalem). Or take a taxi, or make a transfer at the airport exit (El Al Junction), or at the Tel Aviv bus station. In 2017, the route of the bus number 485 "Airport-Jerusalem" company Afikim still launched, and it was ... forced.
    The route network is large and divided between several transport companies. There is no single route scheme for the country. There is no CONVENIENT navigator, which is guaranteed to show how to get to and from, if the path is connected with transfers to buses of different companies. Some information is in Google Maps, but you should check the routes and changes, because updates are rare there.

    An example of the Dan bus page with the official timetable:

    The most convenient and thoughtful navigation on the site of the largest bus company, Egged :

    The site itself is also presented in Russian and English, but the navigator is only in English and Hebrew. Egged's English-language navigator is the most adequate of all those currently represented in Israel. Shows transplants, docking, the location of the stop on the map and even buses on the route. Searches only on Egged routes, i.e. you also need to know which companies serve the city you need and which company owns the route you need.

    More or less adequate and up-to-date information on all routes of all companies is on the third-party “unified” website

    Through the browser, it is usable, in the input fields there are prompts in Latin, the output of information is quite convenient. But his mobile app is terrible.

    Translation flaws or lack of translit are also found on this site:

    Electric cars are not very popular, they are rare. Charging is not visible even in the business center of large cities. Tesla has not seen once. It is possible that residents of kibbutz and small towns are holes and set their own charges in their homes, using something small like a Nissan LEAF or Chevrolet VOLT to travel to the city "sometimes on business," but this is rare. Hybrids come across mainly Prius. There are projects of pure electric taxi in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

    Motorcyclesquite rare. Even the smallest 50cc scooter stool requires a driver's license, registration, numbers and insurance. Getting the rights to a motorcycle is quite difficult and expensive. There are no moped-holes like “Alpha” or “Delta” at all. Scooters and maxi-scooters are quite common, but they are not in the majority, do not prevail on the road, there is absolutely no such feeling of “moto-madness” as can be found on the roads of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Scooters are mostly Korean (SYM) and Chinese, the “Japanese” are a little less common, and there is no exotic like Aprilia at all.

    Electric bikes and electric scooters, on the contrary, are very common, although finished factory-made products cost a lot of money there. Often this is the only self-propelled vehicle that you can buy “right now” without a loan and a bank.

    In cities, car sharing appears , while this phenomenon is gaining momentum. There are few machines yet, the registration interface is convenient, but it is not known whether it accepts documents from non-residents. For payment wants a credit card of Israel. Here is information on the experience of using carsharing in Haifa .

    Traditional car rentals are popular with non-residents. Tel-O-Fun bike rental is available in Tel

    Aviv . Terminals support the Russian language. Here is information on bike rental . The railway network is one of the most understandable, stable and convenient ways to move around the country. Israel Railways website

    The trains and stations themselves have the most “European” design and the highest possible usability for Israel. There are clear English-language schemes and timetables for a

    web site page with a scheme.

    It’s easy to buy a ticket — the machines have English, and the interface is usable at large stations or a senior cashier, or the station manager will most likely speak English. Rolling stock new, European type, Siemens and Bombardier. There are both wagons under diesel and diesel trains.

    Work is underway on the electrification of the network, along with the construction of a high-speed highway to Jerusalem (project A1).

    Among the shortcomings of the railway, we can distinguish its limited coverage (in some places there are simply no trains), possible delays, they still happen from time to time, inspection at the entrance to each station and turnstiles at the exit (the fare depends on the distance). There is still no convenient train to Jerusalem - since the A1 highway to the center is not ready yet, the only way to get to Jerusalem by train is to transfer at Beit Shemesh station and diesel train to Malha station on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The line is single track, passes through the reserve, the places are beautiful, but it is a long and uncomfortable ride.

    There is a single electronic contactless travel card - "Rav-Kav", all bus companies and railways are connected to the system, the card is as a carrier for recording travel cards (another “transport reform” is now taking place - new travel options are being introduced, among which are interesting options “All Country”, “South”, “North” - such a travel card can be beneficial if there are many trips around the country from end to end, as well as a universal “electronic wallet”, where from a single balance you can pay for travel on a bus of any company of any official route.


    Do not accept the map "Rav-Kav" only taxis, minibuses and Arab buses. The map was introduced with a lot of squeak and a lot of conflicts between the Ministry of Transport, system developers and bus companies. To agree on a single balance was really not easy.
    Understanding the system is quite difficult, even in the “simplest” mode of an electronic wallet, difficulties may arise when there is a “contract conflict” when you refill a card or write a travel card — if there is a card for example, a weekly ticket to the city , separately 2 trips and another 100 shekels of money in the wallet. Each company has its own priorities, what to write off first.

    On the photo the error message "Conflict of contracts." The machine does not know what to charge or what to charge.

    The interface of the ticket machine is different for all companies. At Egged it is the most logical and understandable. The railways are perfectly acceptable. But the company Dan ... Severe and "with a sub-subvert."

    These two photos were taken from A.Lapshin (Puerrtto), who was faced exactly with this Tel Aviv.

    Situations “hung on a ticket card of the liquidated type” or “money left on the balance of a contract with an expired date” are not rare. Combine contracts and transfer money can only be in the service center of urban transport, where there may be problems with the language. There is also a mobile application, but to use it, you need a phone with a compatible NFC chip, or a USB reader and a browser plugin. And here is also one language, Hebrew.

    About ticket reform and new travel can be found here.

    And the most interesting discussion about how it works “from the inside” here .


    In Israel, there are 3 large "traditional" mobile operators:

    • Partner (formerly Orange),
    • Cellcom,
    • Pelephone.

    Virtual operators are working on their networks - the most famous of them are HOT Talk and 019. Now there are new ones, such as 012.

    The speed of the Internet as a whole is very good. The coverage is growing, 4G LTE or very fast 3G is available almost all over the country.

    SIM prepaid cards are sold freely and without a passport. And this is in a country where the terrorist threat is not an empty sound. You can buy a SIM card at a kiosk or salon. No registration, verification or registration. The SIM with Israeli number starts working immediately after the purchase.

    It is unpleasant that even an empty new SIM card itself without an Internet package and without money on the balance sheet costs a substantial amount (from 20 shekels, around $ 5).

    All operators have service notices, balance inquiries, traffic balance and self-service sites (such as "personal account") only in Hebrew. In some places there is a choice of notification language or voice menu language, but far from everything has been translated. Hebrew gets out everywhere. In the support service, there is almost always a Russian-speaking specialist, but you still need to get to him through an incomprehensible voice menu (pressing “0” to get to the operator works far from everywhere).

    The operation “change the tariff” or “connect the Internet package” on the SIM card without knowledge of the language is 99.9% impossible. There are no simple and clear commands, nor a convenient application with large buttons without squiggles.

    There is no 100% unlimited mobile internet.

    100 GB per month costs an average of 140-160 shekels ($ 40-45) on Cellcom and Pelephone.
    Partner offers 75 GB at full speed for 200 shekels per month ($ 55), after the exhaustion of 75 GB cuts speed.

    Almost everywhere unlimited calls to Israel are included in the package price. These are basic rates that are available to everyone without a contract.

    There are more lucrative offers, but they need to be knocked out, literally ripped from the operators. And, of course, it will be a contract with the operator’s access to a bank account. For example, the current two-year contract with Partner gives you the opportunity to receive 100 GB and unlimited voice communication in just 70 shekels per month.

    Virtual operators in general are more interesting and more profitable now, especially if such large amounts of traffic are not needed.

    Many contracts have a period before which it is impossible to terminate the contract or go to another operator in order to avoid penalties. Now there are options for 2 years and 5 years.

    And how do you find such a cunning method of weaning money from the people?

    Went to another operator - return the SIM-card (non-working, blocked)! Did not return / throw out / office at the other end of the country? Pay a fine of 99 shekels, because SIM card - the property of the operator! So Cellcom is having fun.

    If you have just flown to Israel as a tourist or a guest, then right at the airport you will see the “company store” 019, where they sell SIM cards. All anything, but selling them there at very different prices - 10 GB for $ 30, 30 GB for $ 50, 100 GB for $ 60:

    They even have an “official website” in Englishthere is, quite "European" type. And in the replenishment of the account you will be carefully helped. With the commission.

    Business u guys, you see. But everything is so sad, because there is no other way out. There is no working way to even simply top up the balance on the Israeli prepaid SIM card, not understanding Hebrew and not having an Israeli bank card. There are even no intermediary sites like Ding or

    If you google it, there will be options for recharge. Manually, with full prepayment. For example, here a small Internet cafe in Tel Aviv is ready to help :

    As a summary

    The seeming clarity and simplicity of the country is deceptive. Without knowledge of a difficult local language, not similar to European, some everyday moments are tangible complexity.
    Much in the country can get better. Much can be simplified, standardized, improved - but for this you need to step over the resistance, through the "always dissatisfied" and through "all contented", and first take one step, then the other.

    Many minds and developments of Israel do not serve Israel, but other countries. These developments, technologies and minds have a place in their own country. To love the Motherland is not only to chant it, to admire it, to protect it in the ranks, but also to take small simple steps towards its bright future.

    UPD 1. Added a little more about banks.
    UPD 2. Added aboutkeyboard layout.

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