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Israel says U.S. iPads not welcome for now

The country's Communications Ministry bans import of U.S. iPad until it can evaluate whether the tablet is safe for use within its borders.

Now that the iPad has been delayed for international customers, people around the globe who can't wait might be tempted to buy a U.S. version of the tablet and bring it with them to their home countries.

In most places that won't be a problem. But in Israel, it will result in confiscation.

Apple iPad
The iPad isn't welcome in Israel yet. Apple

According to a report in Israel newspaper Haaretz, the country's Communications Ministry has decided to "block the import of iPads to Israel." The paper also reported that when people attempt to go through customs, officers have been ordered to take all iPads. Owners are even being charged a fee for custom officials to hold on to their iPads until they're returned when the ban lifts.

The Communication Ministry's decision to ban iPads in Israel is mainly due to the limited testing it has been able to perform on the device. It has asked iDigital, Apple's Israel distributor, for details on how the iPad works. But until it's satisfied, U.S. iPads are not welcome within its borders.

"The iPad device sold exclusively today in the United States operates at broadcast power levels compatible with American standards," officials at the ministry told Haaretz. "As the Israeli regulations in the area of Wi-Fi are similar to European standards, which are different from American standards, which permit broadcasting at lower power, therefore the broadcast levels of the device prevent approving its use in Israel."

Just how long it takes for the U.S. version of the iPad to be allowed into Israel is unknown. It's also worth noting that Israel might need to approve the international version of the device before it's allowed into the country. In other words, it could be quite a while before Israel accepts the iPad. And for now, it's one place where bringing your iPad probably isn't a good idea.

(Via TUAW)