Although you may have heard about some unpleasant things happening in Palestine, it is still a fascinating destination to visit. It is, however, recommended to only visit the West Bank.
What you do not want to do is to roam with your provider in Palestine because roaming can be expensive. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about SIM cards in Palestine. Let's go.
Table of Contents
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Palestine
Palestine has 2 providers: Jawwal operated by Paltel and Ooredoo Palestine. Due to conflicts going on between Palestine and Israel, Palestine was not able to set up a 3G network for more than 10 years. However, this does not apply to the Gaza Strip, where the operators only have a 2G network.
Best SIM Card in Palestine
If you want to buy a SIM card in Palestine, I would recommend going with either Jawwal or Ooredoo. Palestine has only two operators. 3G was not developed until 2018, meaning that both operators are still in the process of improving their 3G network. Jawwal has the most subscribers and the best coverage. Ooredoo has faster speeds, and their SIM cards cost less. The rates for data packages are the same for both providers.
You are probably well aware of what is happening between the two countries, so I will not go in-depth about that. However, although many Palestinians used to get Israeli SIM cards so that they could use fast 4G/LTE because Israeli operators had extensive coverage in Palestine, importing or selling Israeli SIM cards is against the law. Using Israeli SIM cards is not a problem (for visitors, at least), but you should not buy an Israeli SIM card on the black market in Palestine – you could get arrested for that.
If you want fast data in the Gaze Strip, you would need an Israeli SIM card. Just be careful when you do so.
With that out of the way, let’s see what Jawwal and Ooredoo have to offer to us.
Jawwal is owned by the Patel Group. It has a market share of 2.5 million customers and a market share of more than 80%. You can use their 3G network in the West Bank, and speeds are decent.
Jawwal starter packs are sold for 29 NIS ($8.35) in the Jawwal stores, and they come with 1 NIS in credit.
Jawwal has 6 data packages, which can be activated by dialing *999#:
- 18 NIS: 1.5 GB for 7 days
- 25 NIS: 2.5 GB for 30 days
- 40 NIS: 4 GB for 30 days
- 45 NIS: 8 GB for 30 days
- 60 NIS: 16 GB for 30 days
- 70 NIS: 32 GB for 30 days
Do note that these data bundles auto-renew. You can terminate auto-renewal by dialing *999$.
Ooredoo Palestine, just Ooredoo, is run by the company from Kuwait and Qatar and is the second operator in Palestine. It is the smaller operator in the country, but often has higher speeds than Jawwal. Just like with Jawwal, 3G can be found in the West Bank but not in the Gaza Strip.
Ooredoo SIM cards, called Super Card (if translated from Arabic) are sold for 20 NIS in various Ooredoo stores and from authorized dealers.
There is also a SIM card for the youth, for those between 16 and 25, called Super Youth (if translated from Arabic). The differences between the Super Card and Super Youth are the standard rates you pay and the age requirement. You also get a few other perks with the Super Youth SIM card.
The following data packs can be added by dialing *406#:
- 2 NIS: 20 MB for 1 day
- 3 NIS: 50 MB for 1 day
- 6 NIS: 150 MB for 7 days
- 10 NIS: 250 MB for 30 days
- 15 NIS: 500 MB for 30 days
- 20 NIS: 1 GB for 30 days
- 30 NIS: 2 GB for 30 days
You can check your Ooredoo data balance by dialing *106#.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Palestine
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Palestine
Getting a SIM card from Jawwal or Ooredoo would do you well when considering a Palestinian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Middle Eastern Countries
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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