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15 July, 2024
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Israelis find sanctuary in Greece and Cyprus

Cypriots to welcome a wave of refugees amid Gaza conflict


As the conflict with Hamas in Gaza intensifies, a growing number of Israeli citizens are seeking refuge in Greece and Cyprus. As reported by Greek Reporter, short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have become a preferred choice for these individuals, with Athens and Thessaloniki emerging as significant locations due to their sizable Jewish communities.

Spilios Papaspiliou, the executive manager of, reports a notable increase in bookings from Israel. Initially, there were cancellations when the conflict started, but over the past two weeks, there has been a substantial surge in bookings.

These bookings are primarily last-minute, with many individuals also inquiring about properties for their friends and family. The most sought-after areas for accommodation are in the center of Athens and the southern suburbs.

This trend of Israeli citizens seeking refuge in Greece and Cyprus extends beyond short-term rentals to those considering permanent residence through Greece's "Golden Visa" program.

This program enables the purchase of real estate worth over 250,000 euros, granting the right to permanent residence and free movement in Europe.

Cyprus, due to its proximity, is a preferred destination for Israelis fleeing the conflict. Larnaca, in particular, hosts a significant number of expatriate Israelis, including reservists and those who have lost their homes. The local community has displayed solidarity and support for those seeking refuge in Cyprus.

It's worth noting that Greece and Cyprus have become recognized as "safe havens" for Israelis, leading to a substantial increase in Israeli visitors to these countries in recent years.

In 2022, Greece recorded a historic high of 722,549 Israeli visitors. Thessaloniki, in particular, saw 11% of overnight stays from Israelis, according to a report on Greek Reporter.

This surge in demand for accommodations and potential real estate investments reflects the challenging circumstances that have prompted many Israelis to seek safety and refuge in these Mediterranean countries.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Israel  |  Gaza  |  rent

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