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Israel Bans iPads

April 16, 2010

Israel announced on Friday it is warning visitors to leave their iPads at home or they will be confiscated upon arrival as the device’s wireless signal is 40 times more powerful than the country allows.

Several of the gadgets have already been seized by officials at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, according to communications ministry spokesman Yechiel Shavi. He said the devices would be returned to their owners upon departure.

As for any Israeli residents who own the Apple tablet computers that have been taken, Shavi told AFP those residents “can sell them to Americans.”

The iPad is currently only available in the United States due to regulations that allow higher signal strength than other countries, such as Europe and Israel.

The ministry said when a device becomes available set to European standards it would be welcome in Israel. They said that any Wi-Fi equipment brought into the country must meet the standards or will risk being seized. It is up to the individual to make sure they know what meets local standards and what does not.

“Around the world thousands of models of computers are manufactured and therefore a customer who buys a device abroad must check that it is suitable for use in Israel,” a ministry statement said.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper in Israel reported that at least 10 iPads have been confiscated from travelers who declared them at customs. It is possible that an unknown number of devices may have made it through customs unchecked.

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