חזרה לעמוד הקודם

ccTLD ישראל. Domains – Frequently Asked Questions

November 13, 2022

The new Country Code top-level domain (ccTLD) .ישראל is launching! On November 22, 2022, the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL) started offering the public the option to register Hebrew domain names under a new national TLD – .ישראל. From now on, Israelis have two available TLDs: ישראל. and .il.

Notably, the ability to register a .ישראל domain does not guarantee that every web app and online service will support it. While we are doing our best to expand the support for the new TLD in various apps and platforms, the process will take time, given the multitude of browsers, messaging apps, online services, and email apps. Generally, the latest versions of popular browsers are likely to support Hebrew domains.

Following are answers to common questions about registering .ישראל domains and the ecosystem’s support in the new TLD.

If you haven’t found an answer, don’t hesitate to contact us via email: [email protected].

FAQ

How do non-Latin domain names work?
Domain names in Hebrew (and other languages) use a set of standards called IDN (Internationalized Domain Names). Hebrew domain names are translated into strings containing Latin letters, numbers, and hyphens decoded by the domain name system (DNS). For example, the domain name “איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל” is “xn —- zhcbgfhe2aacg8fb5i.xn – 4dbrk0ce”. Many browsers already support IDN standards, but email software and other applications are still in process.
How will Hebrew domains appear in the WHOIS service on ISOC-IL’s website?
You can search a Hebrew domain in the WHOIS service both in Hebrew letters, for example – “איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל” and in Punycode (for instance, xn—-zhcbgfhe2aacg8fb5i.xn--4dbrk0ce). The search results will display the domain name in both scripts.
How can I register a ישראל. domain?
You can register both .il and .ישראל domains via ISOC-IL’s authorized registrars. Not all of them support the new TLD. – those who do are marked in the list with the ישראל. logo.
Are the registration rules the same for ישראל. and .il?
There are a few differences between the two TLDs, including the domain structure, restricted characters, and the assignment of the sectorial 3LD “ישוב.ישראל”. However, most of the conditions that apply to .il domains also apply to the new ישראל. TLD. Click here for the .il registration rules; Click here for the ישראל. registration rules.
Which characters are permitted when registering a domain name in Hebrew?
As stated in the registration rules a Domain Name may only be comprised of the following characters and must include at least one letter from the Hebrew
alphabet characters:
  1. Hebrew alphabet characters – the letters “א “to “ת ,“
    to corresponding” (ץ” ,“ן” ,“ף” ,“ך” ,“ם” :letters final including Unicode Code-Points U+05D0 to U+05EA).
  2. Digits – the digits “0” to “9” (corresponding to Unicode Code-Points U+0030 to U+0039).
  3. Hyphen – the character “-” (corresponding to Unicode Code-Point U+002D).
How can I convert Hebrew characters into Punycode?
You can convert a Hebrew domain from Unicode to Punycode using online services, but that’s usually unnecessary. When applying for a Hebrew ישראל. domain, the registrar performs the conversion.
How will a new ישראל. domain look like? Is it possible to combine Latin letters?
A Hebrew domain consists of a sequence of two or more characters with the suffix ישראל., for example, איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל. Domains registered under the new TLD can only include at least one Hebrew letter (including the final form, such as “ם” or “ץ”), digits, and a dash. Latin letters or a combination of Hebrew and Latin letters isn’t possible. The public can register a ישראל. domain under the second-level (SLD), which is written like so: <דומיין ברמה-שנייה>.<ישראל>. For example, דומיין.ישראל, or איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל. Academic institutions, government bodies, the military, and municipal authorities will use sectoral third-level domains (3LD), which are written like so: <דומיין ברמה-שלישית>.<סיומת משנה ברמה-שנייה>.<ישראל>. For example, שםמוסדאקדמי.אקדמיה.ישראל, or משרדממשלתי.ממשל.ישראל. For more information, see the registration rules.
Are there any SLDs equivalents to .co.il, .org.il, .muni.il, .gov.il, etc.?
The public can register a .ישראל domain under the second-level (SLD), which is written like so: <דומיין ברמה-שנייה>.<ישראל>. For example, דומיין.ישראל, or איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל. Academic institutions, government bodies, the military, and municipal authorities will use sectoral third-level domains (3LD), which are written like so: <דומיין ברמה-שלישית>.<סיומת משנה ברמה-שנייה>.<ישראל>. For example, שםמוסדאקדמי.אקדמיה.ישראל, or משרדממשלתי.ממשל.ישראל.
The allocated SLDs are: אקדמיה.ישראל, .ממשל.ישראל, .צהל.ישראל, .ישוב.ישראל.
For more information, see the registration rules.
Are there any restrictions on registering a ישראל. domain?
As stated in the registration rules, a domain name:
  1. May not begin or end with a hyphen.
  2. May not contain two consecutive hyphens (“–“) – except for Domain Names in the standard A-Label form for Hebrew Domain Names.
  3. Must comply with the technical requirements of the DNS that are in effect at the time the Application is submitted.
  4. May not begin with a digit.
  5. May not be identical or confusingly similar to the top level domain “ישראל” and to the 2nd level Domain Names: “אקדמיה” ;“ישוב” ;“ממשל” ;“צהל ,“or any 2nd level Domain Name that ISOC-IL will add in the future.
  6. Middle and final letter are synonymous for the purpose of ,“ן“=“נ” ,“ם“=“מ” ,“ך“=“כ”) Name Domain a registering “פ“=“ף” ,“צ“=“ץ . ISOC-IL will not allocate a Domain Name where an identical Domain Name was already allocated, where the only difference between both Domain Names is middle and final letters (for example: if the Domain Name “ישראל.דומיין “was allocated, the Domain Names “דומיינ.ישראל” or” דוםיינ.ישראל” or” דוםיין.ישראל” cannot be used or allocated.
  7. Domain Names may not contain obscene words and Names incorporating foul language; Names that are injurious to public order or to public sensibilities, or Names that otherwise infringe the laws of the State of Israel (See: “Offensive Domain Names”).
What length is permitted for a Hebrew domain in ישראל.?
As stated in the registration rules a domain Name’s length will not exceed 63 characters when represented in the standard A-Label Form and will not be shorter than 2 characters in the U-Label Form. The minimal length of a Domain Name is 2 characters
Why can’t a Hebrew domain start with a digit?
Because of a technical limitation: An Internationalized domain name (IDN) translated into an ASCII string that starts with xn--. Some systems that support the IDNA 2003 standard struggle to decode domains that begin with digits, so the Hebrew URL might be mistranslated, and the domain will be unreachable.
Why does a Hebrew domain name with a different nominal/final form blocks the registration of another domain that uses the same sequence of letters with a final form instead of a nominal or vice versa (כ=ך, מ=ם, נ=ן, פ=ף, צ=ץ)?
In 2019, ICANN adopted ISOC-IL’s recommendations as guidelines for implementing Hebrew in TLDs. In May 2021, it announced that these would also apply to SLDs. The guidelines state that final form variants are synonymous with their nominal counterparts (כ=ך, מ=ם, נ=ן, פ=ף, צ=ץ). Therefore it’s not permitted to register domains that vary only by final or nominal letter. Accordingly, the registration rules are subject to these guidelines, so, for example, if the domain דומיין.ישראל was already assigned, it will be impossible to register דומיינ.ישראל, דוםמיינ.ישראל, or דוםיין.ישראל.
Why would I register a Hebrew ישראל. domain name?
When choosing a domain name, you should consider its compatibility with your target audience and whether its advantages serve your business or product. A Hebrew domain has several notable benefits:
  • Memorable – you can display your website’s Hebrew URL on billboards, posters, business cards, or even on television, and it will be easy for Hebrew speakers to remember.
  • Strong branding – the word ישראל (“Israel”) has solid branding among Israelis.
  • Variations – the new TLD offers a wide variety of possibilities; numerous Hebrew words and combinations are available for registration as URLs and business names.
  • Local association – since ישראל. is a ccTLD, search engines will learn it, and it’s likely that in the future, they will associate websites with Hebrew domains with Israel’s geographical location.
    For more information on the benefits of registering a Hebrew domain click here.
People have already gotten used to domains in English (ASCII). Why did ISOC-IL introduce Hebrew domains?
The World Wide Web originated in the US and has since spread to many countries. Over time, the need to find solutions and adapt the infrastructure to non-English speaking users arose, and the global internet community committed to supporting the non-English web.
Hebrew domains have several advantages: Increasing affiliation with the local Israeli business community and the Israeli affinity of the service or business, along with the option to easily advertise the domain in Hebrew among populations less fluent in English.
For more information on the benefits of registering a Hebrew domain click here.
Will ישראל.-based Hebrew links be clickable like standard links?
Support of IDN, including Hebrew domains, varies from app to app, so these links will not always be clickable. Furthermore, in some cases, Hebrew links will be clickable but displayed in Punycode instead of Hebrew. For example, xn—-zhcbgfhe2aacg8fb5i.xn--4dbrk0ce will lead to the URL איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל. However, as IDN becomes more and more common online and the need for compatibility increases, chances are that more service providers and platforms will adapt.
For a more in-depth and conclusive answer, please get in touch with the specific service provider (social media platform, app developer) to find out if they support IDN.
For more information about compatibility, see IDN – What does it have to do with us?. or https://idnworldreport.eu/blog/2021–11–29-oxil-uasg-icann/index.html.
Will a Hebrew ישראל. domain automatically link to the corresponding Latin .il URL?
No, these domains are separate. If the owner of a Latin domain wants a domain that is a translation or transliteration of the former, they will have to register the Hebrew ישראל. domain.
Can I access a Hebrew domain in any browser?
In general, popular browsers support Hebrew domains. Exceptions may be less common browsers and older versions of popular browsers. The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) tested various operating systems and found that most browsers fully support IDN.
For more information about compatibility, see IDN – What does it have to do with us?.
Would I have to type www., http://, or https:// to access a .ישראל domain?
When browsing the web using any popular browser, there is no need to type these. The browser will automatically serve the appropriate website, as it does when typing Latin URLs:
  • www – is an optional addition that the website administrator can define as a subdomain.
  • http:// – in case there is no SSL certificate.
  • https:// – in case the website administrator obtained an SSL certificate.
Can I use a Hebrew domain for email inboxes?
Email depends on both the client software and various server software. Tests conducted by UASG indicate that the compatibility of different email services varies among providers, so one email service may allow sending and receiving email using a Hebrew domain, while another might not support this option. Additionally, some services permit sending using an IDN email address but don’t allow creating such an address.
Can I issue an SSL certificate for a Hebrew domain?
Most leading SSL certificate providers have no problem issuing certificates for an IDN domain, including in Hebrew. However, it may be required to enter the domain name in Punycode instead of Hebrew: xn—-zhcbgfhe2aacg8fb5i.xn--4dbrk0ce and not איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל. Since the requirements may vary among issuers, we recommend reaching out to them before starting the process.
I bought a domain, but it’s unreachable.
There can be several reasons, including the frequency of DNS propagation – it can take several hours until the website is reachable via the new domain. Another possibility is that you are using a browser that doesn’t support IDN and cannot decode the URL you typed. Updating the browser to the latest version may resolve this. For further information, consult the browser provider’s support.
Are other countries offering native scripts ccTLD?
Yes. IDN isn’t new: Non-Latin domains have been supported globally since the mid-1990s, using different script conversion mechanisms. In 2010, ICANN made a historic step and approved native scripts ccTLDs in four countries: مصر (Egypt), السعودية (Saudi Arabia), рф (Russian Federation), and امارات (United Arab Emirates). In Israel, the registration of Hebrew domains launched in 2010 (under .il) and now follows the option to register full-Hebrew domains under the ישראל. ccTLD.

For data on the worldwide distribution of IDN, visit https://idnworldreport.eu/maps/world-maps/.

What will happen to Hebrew .il domain names?
The existing .il Hebrew domain names will remain as they are, according to this TLD’s registration rules. Holders of Hebrew domain names under the .il TLD are not obliged to register the same Hebrew domain name under the ישראל.. A party wishing to hold domain names under both TLDs must renew the .il domain and register and renew the ישראל. TLD domain name. .il Hebrew domain name that isn’t renewed will be permanently deleted because ISOC-IL no longer allows registering Hebrew domain names under the .il registry.
How much does it cost to register a ישראל. domain?
Please get in touch with authorized registrars that offer domain registration in Hebrew. ISOC-IL charges registrars the same registration fee for both Israeli TLDs; .il & ישראל..
Do actions such as renewing, transferring, deleting, or updating domain details differ under the new TLD?
No, there is no difference.
Are Hebrew domain names and the new TLD used to extract money from people?
No. Hebrew domain names and the ישראל. TLD extend the Israeli namespace. ישראל. TLD domain names use Hebrew-only letters, conforming to the following format: “הדומיין.ישראל”. Supporting non-Latin domain names increases usability and allows broader communities to access the internet.
When I tried to register a ישראל. TLD domain name, I got a message saying it was reserved for someone else (per the Sunrise procedure). Would I ever be able to register this domain name?
If the party eligible for the registration of this domain name does not register the domain during the Protected Registration Period (22/02/2023), their right will expire, and the domain name becomes available for registration by the public, following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy.
I was eligible for pre-registration of a domain name during Sunrise but didn’t exercise my right, and now another party has registered the domain name. What can I do?

Your right has expired, and the domain name became available to the public, following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy. If someone has already registered a domain name that you believe violates your legal rights, you can contact ISOC-IL Dispute Resolution Procedure (IL-DRP) or the courts.

What are the DNS propagation times for ישראל.?
The ישראל. zone file propagates five times a day: At 8:00, 12:00, 14:00, 18:00, and 22:00.

Glossary

What is IDN
IDN is a set of standards for Domain Names containing characters used in various national languages. IDN defines a translation from a Domain Name comprised of national language characters (“ULabel Form”) to a Domain Name comprised exclusively of Latin characters, digits and hyphens (“A-Label Form”).
What is ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a common character-encoding standard that computers use to store, transmit, and print English (or Latin) text. ASCII codes represent text in computers, telecommunications equipment, and other devices. The publication of the first edition of the ASCII was in 1963 by the American Standards Association (ASA), now called the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
What is Unicode
Unicode is an international standard for representation of text in computer systems. The standard defines a set of characters which includes, inter alia, all writing systems currently in use in world languages, and maps each character to a numeric code (“Code-Point”).

A Code-Point is referenced by a “U+” prefix, followed by a fourhexadecimal-digits number. For example, the code of the Hebrew letter Aleph (“א”) is U+05D0.

Read more: https://www.unicode.org/

What is Punycode
The standard for transforming a Unicode string into an ASCII string as specified in RFC 3492.