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Coordinates: 31°N 35°E / 31°N 35°E / 31; 35

State of Israel

מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (Hebrew) دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل (Arabic)

Flag

Emblem

Anthem: "Hatikvah" (Hebrew for "The Hope")

(pre-) 1967 border (Green Line)

Capital and largest city Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(limited recognition)[fn 1] 31°47′N 35°13′E / 31.783°N 35.217°E / 31.783; 35.217

Official languages

Hebrew Arabic

Ethnic groups (2017)

74.7% Jewish 20.8% Arab 4.5% other[5]

Religion (2016)

74.7% Jewish 17.7% Muslim 2.0% Christian 1.6% Druze 4.0% other[6]

Demonym Israeli

Government Unitary parliamentary republic

• President

Reuven Rivlin

• Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu

•  Knesset
Knesset
Speaker

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

• Chief Justice

Esther Hayut

Legislature Knesset

Independence

• Declared

14 May 1948

• Admission to UNO

11 May 1949

Area

• Total

20,770–22,072 km2 (8,019–8,522 sq mi)[a] (150th)

• Water (%)

2.1

Population

• 2018 estimate

8,839,100[7] (97th)

• 2008 census

7,412,200[8]

• Density

400/km2 (1,036.0/sq mi) (33rd)

GDP (PPP) 2018[9] estimate

• Total

$332.541 billion (54th)

• Per capita

$37,486 (35th)

GDP (nominal) 2018[9] estimate

• Total

$361.609 billion (34th)

• Per capita

$40,762 (20th)

Gini (2013) 42.8[10] medium · 47th

HDI (2015)  0.899[11] very high · 19th

Currency New shekel (₪‎) (ILS)

Time zone IST (UTC+2)

• Summer (DST)

IDT (UTC+3)

Date format

יי-חח-שששש‎ (AM) dd-mm-yyyy (CE)

Drives on the right

Calling code +972

ISO 3166 code IL

Internet TLD .il

Website www.israel.org

^ 20,770 is Israel
Israel
within the Green Line. 22,072 includes the annexed Golan Heights
Golan Heights
and East Jerusalem.

This article contains Hebrew and Arabic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Israel
Israel
(/ˈɪzriəl, -reɪəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‬; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon
Lebanon
to the north, Syria
Syria
to the northeast, Jordan
Jordan
on the east, the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
of the West Bank
West Bank
and Gaza Strip[12] to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt
Egypt
to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.[6][13] Israel's economy and technology center is Tel Aviv,[14] while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally.[15][16][17][18][19][fn 2] The Kingdoms of Israel
Israel
and Judah emerged during the Iron Age.[20][21] The Neo-Assyrian Empire
Neo-Assyrian Empire
destroyed Israel
Israel
around 720 BCE.[22] Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.[23][24] The successful Maccabean Revolt
Maccabean Revolt
led to an independent Jewish kingdom in 110 BCE,[25] which came to an end in 63 BCE when the Hasmonean kingdom became a client state of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty
Herodian dynasty
in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea.[26] Judea
Judea
lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction,[25] expulsion of Jewish population[25][27] and the renaming of the region from Iudaea
Iudaea
to Syria Palaestina.[28] Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century the Levant
Levant
was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs
Arabs
and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade
First Crusade
of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt
Egypt
extended its control over the Levant
Levant
in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman and later British Palestine. In 1947, the United Nations
United Nations
adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem.[29] The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and rejected by Arab leaders.[30][31][32] The following year, the Jewish Agency
Jewish Agency
declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank
West Bank
and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states.[33] Israel
Israel
has since fought several wars with Arab countries,[34] and it has since 1967 occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
(still considered occupied after 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts, dispute this claim).[35][36][37][fn 3] It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank.[38][39][40][41] Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
is the world's longest military occupation in modern times.[fn 3][43] Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
have not resulted in peace. However, peace treaties between Israel
Israel
and both Egypt
Egypt
and Jordan
Jordan
have been signed. In its Basic Laws, Israel
Israel
defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state.[44] Israel
Israel
is a representative democracy[45] with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage.[46][47] The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset
Knesset
is the legislature. Israel
Israel
is a developed country and an OECD member,[48] with the 34th-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016[update]. The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.[49] Israel
Israel
has the highest standard of living in the Middle East,[11] and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.[50]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Antiquity 2.3 Classical period 2.4 Middle Ages and modern history 2.5 Zionism
Zionism
and British Mandate 2.6 After World War II 2.7 Early years of the State of Israel 2.8 Further conflict and peace process

3 Geography and environment

3.1 Tectonics and seismicity 3.2 Climate

4 Demographics

4.1 Major urban areas 4.2 Language 4.3 Religion 4.4 Education

5 Government and politics

5.1 Legal system 5.2 Administrative divisions 5.3 Israeli-occupied territories 5.4 Foreign relations 5.5 International humanitarian efforts 5.6 Military

6 Economy

6.1 Science and technology 6.2 Transportation 6.3 Tourism 6.4 Energy

7 Culture

7.1 Literature 7.2 Music and dance 7.3 Cinema and theatre 7.4 Media 7.5 Museums 7.6 Cuisine 7.7 Sports

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

Etymology

The Merneptah Stele
Merneptah Stele
(13th century BCE). The majority of biblical archeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as "Israel," the first instance of the name in the record.

Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל‬  Medīnat Yisrā'el [mediˈnat jisʁaˈʔel]; Arabic: دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل‎ Dawlat Isrāʼīl [dawlat ʔisraːˈʔiːl]) after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel
Israel
("the Land of Israel"), Zion, and Judea, were considered but rejected.[51] In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.[52] The names Land of Israel
Land of Israel
and Children of Israel
Children of Israel
have historically been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel
Israel
and the entire Jewish people respectively.[53] The name "Israel" (Standard Yisraʾel, Isrāʾīl; Septuagint
Septuagint
Greek: Ἰσραήλ Israēl; 'El(God) persists/rules', though after Hosea 12:4 often interpreted as "struggle with God")[54][55][56][57] in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob
Jacob
who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.[58] Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel
Twelve Tribes of Israel
or Children of Israel. Jacob
Jacob
and his sons had lived in Canaan
Canaan
but were forced by famine to go into Egypt
Egypt
for four generations, lasting 430 years,[59] until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob,[60] led the Israelites
Israelites
back into Canaan
Canaan
during the "Exodus". The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele
Merneptah Stele
of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).[61] The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Islam
and the Bahá'í Faith. From 1920, the whole region was known as Palestine (under British Mandate)[fn 4] until the Israeli Declaration of Independence of 1948.[62] Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Canaan, Djahy, Samaria, Judea, Yehud, Iudaea, Coele-Syria, Syria
Syria
Palaestina and Southern Syria. History Main article: History of Israel Prehistory Further information: Prehistory of the Levant The oldest evidence of early humans in the territory of modern Israel, dating to 1.5 million years ago, was found in Ubeidiya
Ubeidiya
near the Sea of Galilee.[63] Other notable Paleolithic
Paleolithic
sites include caves Tabun, Qesem and Manot. The oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans found outside Africa are the Skhul and Qafzeh hominins, who lived in the area that is now northern Israel
Israel
120,000 years ago.[64] Around 10th millennium BCE, the Natufian culture
Natufian culture
existed in the area.[65] Antiquity Main article: History of ancient Israel
Israel
and Judah Further information: Israelites, Kingdom of Israel
Israel
(Samaria), and Kingdom of Judah

The Large Stone Structure, archaeological site in Jerusalem

The early history of the territory is unclear.[20]:104 Modern archaeology has largely discarded the historicity of the narrative in the Torah
Torah
concerning the patriarchs, The Exodus, and the conquest described in the Book
Book
of Joshua, and instead views the narrative as constituting the Israelites' inspiring national myth.[66] Ancestors of the Israelites
Israelites
may have included ancient Semitic-speaking peoples native to Canaan.[67]:78–9 The Israelites
Israelites
and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh.[68][69][70][71][72][73] The archaeological evidence indicates a society of village-like centres, but with more limited resources and a small population.[74] Villages had populations of up to 300 or 400,[75][76] which lived by farming and herding, and were largely self-sufficient;[77] economic interchange was prevalent.[78] Writing was known and available for recording, even in small sites.[79]

Map of Israel
Israel
and Judah in the 9th century BCE

While it is unclear if there was ever a United Monarchy,[80][20][81][82] there is well accepted archeological evidence referring to "Israel" in the Merneptah Stele
Merneptah Stele
which dates to about 1200 BCE;[83][84][85] and the Canaanites are archeologically attested in the Middle Bronze Age.[86][87] There is debate about the earliest existence of the Kingdoms of Israel
Israel
and Judah and their extent and power, but historians agree that a Kingdom of Israel existed by ca. 900 BCE[20]:169–195[81][82] and that a Kingdom of Judah existed by ca. 700 BCE.[21] The Kingdom of Israel
Israel
was destroyed around 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[22] In 586 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar II
of Babylon conquered Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, he destroyed Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple
and exiled the Jews
Jews
to Babylon. The defeat was also recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.[23][88] The Babylonian exile
Babylonian exile
ended around 538 BCE under the rule of the Persian Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
after he captured Babylon.[89][90] The Second Temple
Second Temple
was constructed around 520 BCE.[89] As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
became the province of Judah (Yehud Medinata) with different borders, covering a smaller territory.[91] The population of the province was greatly reduced from that of the kingdom, archaeological surveys showing a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE.[20]:308 Classical period Main article: Second Temple
Second Temple
period Further information: Hasmonean dynasty, Herodian dynasty, and Jewish–Roman wars

Portion of the Temple Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
written during the Second Temple
Second Temple
period

With successive Persian rule, the autonomous province Yehud Medinata was gradually developing back into urban society, largely dominated by Judeans. The Greek conquests largely skipped the region without any resistance or interest. Incorporated into Ptolemaic and finally Seleucid empires, the southern Levant
Levant
was heavily hellenized, building the tensions between Judeans and Greeks. The conflict erupted in 167 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt, which succeeded in establishing an independent Hasmonean Kingdom
Hasmonean Kingdom
in Judah, which later expanded over much of modern Israel, as the Seleucids gradually lost control in the region. The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
invaded the region in 63 BCE, first taking control of Syria, and then intervening in the Hasmonean Civil War. The struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian factions in Judea
Judea
eventually led to the installation of Herod the Great
Herod the Great
and consolidation of the Herodian kingdom as a vassal Judean state of Rome. With the decline of the Herodian dynasty, Judea, transformed into a Roman province, became the site of a violent struggle of Jews
Jews
against Greco-Romans, culminating in the Jewish–Roman wars, ending in wide-scale destruction, expulsions, and genocide. Jewish presence in the region significantly dwindled after the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt
Bar Kokhba revolt
against the Roman Empire in 132 CE.[92] Nevertheless, there was a continuous small Jewish presence and Galilee became its religious center.[93][94] The Mishnah
Mishnah
and part of the Talmud, central Jewish texts, were composed during the 2nd to 4th centuries CE in Tiberias
Tiberias
and Jerusalem.[95] The region came to be populated predominantly by Greco-Romans on the coast and Samaritans
Samaritans
in the hill-country. Christianity
Christianity
was gradually evolving over Roman paganism, when the area stood under Byzantine rule. Through the 5th and 6th centuries, the dramatic events of the repeated Samaritan revolts reshaped the land, with massive destruction to Byzantine Christian and Samaritan societies and a resulting decrease of the population. After the Persian conquest and the installation of a short-lived Jewish Commonwealth in 614 CE, the Byzantine Empire reconquered the country in 628. Middle Ages and modern history Further information: History of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
during the Middle Ages, Muslim conquest of the Levant, and Old Yishuv

Kfar Bar'am, an ancient Jewish village, abandoned some time between the 7th–13th centuries AD.[96]

In 634–641 CE, the region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs
Arabs
who had just recently adopted Islam. Control of the region transferred between the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders, and Ayyubids throughout the next three centuries.[97] During the siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by the First Crusade
First Crusade
in 1099, the Jewish inhabitants of the city fought side by side with the Fatimid garrison and the Muslim population who tried in vain to defend the city against the Crusaders. When the city fell, about 60,000 people were massacred, including 6,000 Jews
Jews
seeking refuge in a synagogue.[98] At this time, a full thousand years after the fall of the Jewish state, there were Jewish communities all over the country. Fifty of them are known and include Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza.[99] According to Albert of Aachen, the Jewish residents of Haifa
Haifa
were the main fighting force of the city, and "mixed with Saracen [Fatimid] troops", they fought bravely for close to a month until forced into retreat by the Crusader fleet and land army.[100][101] However, Joshua Prawer expressed doubt over the story, noting that Albert did not attend the Crusades and that such a prominent role for the Jews
Jews
is not mentioned by any other source.[102][undue weight? – discuss] In 1165, Maimonides
Maimonides
visited Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the "great, holy house."[103] In 1141 the Spanish-Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi
Yehuda Halevi
issued a call for Jews
Jews
to migrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself. In 1187 Sultan Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, defeated the Crusaders
Crusaders
in the Battle of Hattin
Battle of Hattin
and subsequently captured Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and almost all of Palestine. In time, Saladin
Saladin
issued a proclamation inviting Jews
Jews
to return and settle in Jerusalem,[104] and according to Judah al-Harizi, they did: "From the day the Arabs
Arabs
took Jerusalem, the Israelites
Israelites
inhabited it."[105] Al-Harizi compared Saladin's decree allowing Jews
Jews
to re-establish themselves in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
to the one issued by the Persian king Cyrus the Great over 1,600 years earlier.[106]

The 13th-century Ramban Synagogue
Ramban Synagogue
in Jerusalem

In 1211, the Jewish community in the country was strengthened by the arrival of a group headed by over 300 rabbis from France
France
and England,[107] among them Rabbi Samson ben Abraham of Sens.[108] Nachmanides
Nachmanides
(Ramban), the 13th-century Spanish rabbi and recognised leader of Jewry greatly praised the land of Israel
Israel
and viewed its settlement as a positive commandment incumbent on all Jews. He wrote "If the gentiles wish to make peace, we shall make peace and leave them on clear terms; but as for the land, we shall not leave it in their hands, nor in the hands of any nation, not in any generation."[109] In 1260, control passed to the Mamluk sultans of Egypt.[110] The country was located between the two centres of Mamluk power, Cairo
Cairo
and Damascus, and only saw some development along the postal road connecting the two cities. Jerusalem, although left without the protection of any city walls since 1219, also saw a flurry of new construction projects centred around the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
compound on the Temple Mount. In 1266 the Mamluk Sultan Baybars
Baybars
converted the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron
Hebron
into an exclusive Islamic sanctuary and banned Christians and Jews
Jews
from entering, which previously would be able to enter it for a fee. The ban remained in place until Israel took control of the building in 1967.[111][112]

Jews
Jews
at the Western Wall, 1870s

In 1470, Isaac b. Meir Latif arrived from Italy
Italy
and counted 150 Jewish families in Jerusalem.[113] Thanks to Joseph Saragossi
Joseph Saragossi
who had arrived in the closing years of the 15th century, Safed
Safed
and its environs had developed into the largest concentration of Jews
Jews
in Palestine. With the help of the Sephardic immigration from Spain, the Jewish population had increased to 10,000 by the early 16th century.[114] In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire; it remained under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War, when Britain defeated the Ottoman forces and set up a military administration across the former Ottoman Syria. In 1920 the territory was divided between Britain and France
France
under the mandate system, and the British-administered area which included modern day Israel
Israel
was named Mandatory Palestine.[110][115][116] Zionism
Zionism
and British Mandate Main articles: Zionism, Yishuv, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, and Mandatory Palestine Further information: Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
and Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine

Theodor Herzl, visionary of the Jewish state

Since the existence of the earliest Jewish diaspora, many Jews
Jews
have aspired to return to "Zion" and the "Land of Israel",[117] though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute.[118][119] The hopes and yearnings of Jews
Jews
living in exile are an important theme of the Jewish belief system.[118] After the Jews
Jews
were expelled from Spain
Spain
in 1492, some communities settled in Palestine.[120] During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the Four Holy Cities—Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed—and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem.[121] In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European opponents of Hasidism, known as the Perushim, settled in Palestine.[122][123][124]

"Therefore I believe that a wonderous generation of Jews
Jews
will spring into existence. The Maccabaeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews
Jews
wish to have a State, and they shall have one. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own home. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare will react with beneficent force for the good of humanity."

Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
(1896).  A Jewish State. Wikisource.   [scan]

The first wave of modern Jewish migration to Ottoman-ruled Palestine, known as the First Aliyah, began in 1881, as Jews
Jews
fled pogroms in Eastern Europe.[125] Although the Zionist movement already existed in practice, Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
is credited with founding political Zionism,[126] a movement which sought to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, thus offering a solution to the so-called Jewish question
Jewish question
of the European states, in conformity with the goals and achievements of other national projects of the time.[127] In 1896, Herzl published Der Judenstaat
Der Judenstaat
(The Jewish State), offering his vision of a future Jewish state; the following year he presided over the First Zionist Congress.[128] The Second Aliyah
Aliyah
(1904–14), began after the Kishinev pogrom; some 40,000 Jews
Jews
settled in Palestine, although nearly half of them left eventually.[125] Both the first and second waves of migrants were mainly Orthodox Jews,[129] although the Second Aliyah
Aliyah
included socialist groups who established the kibbutz movement.[130] During World War I, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour
Arthur Balfour
sent the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, that stated that Britain intended for the creation of a Jewish "national home" within the Palestinian Mandate.[131][132] In 1918, the Jewish Legion, a group primarily of Zionist volunteers, assisted in the British conquest of Palestine.[133] Arab opposition to British rule and Jewish immigration led to the 1920 Palestine riots and the formation of a Jewish militia known as the Haganah
Haganah
(meaning "The Defense" in Hebrew), from which the Irgun
Irgun
and Lehi, or the Stern Gang, paramilitary groups later split off.[134] In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine under terms which included the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
with its promise to the Jews, and with similar provisions regarding the Arab Palestinians.[135] The population of the area at this time was predominantly Arab and Muslim, with Jews
Jews
accounting for about 11%,[136] and Arab Christians
Arab Christians
at about 9.5% of the population.[137] The Third (1919–23) and Fourth Aliyahs (1924–29) brought an additional 100,000 Jews
Jews
to Palestine.[125] The rise of Nazism and the increasing persecution of Jews
Jews
in 1930s Europe led to the Fifth Aliyah, with an influx of a quarter of a million Jews. This was a major cause of the Arab revolt of 1936–39 during which the British Mandate authorities alongside the Zionist militias of Haganah
Haganah
and Irgun
Irgun
killed 5,032 Arabs
Arabs
and wounded 14,760,[138][139] resulting in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab
Palestinian Arab
population killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled.[140] The British introduced restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine with the White Paper of 1939. With countries around the world turning away Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, a clandestine movement known as Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet was organized to bring Jews
Jews
to Palestine.[125] By the end of World War II, the Jewish population of Palestine had increased to 33% of the total population.[141] After World War II Further information: United Nations
United Nations
Partition Plan for Palestine, 1948 Palestine war, and Israeli Declaration of Independence After World War II, Britain found itself in intense conflict with the Jewish community over Jewish immigration limits, as well as continued conflict with the Arab community over limit levels. The Haganah
Haganah
joined Irgun
Irgun
and Lehi in an armed struggle against British rule.[142] At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Jewish Holocaust survivors
Holocaust survivors
and refugees sought a new life far from their destroyed communities in Europe. The Yishuv
Yishuv
attempted to bring these refugees to Palestine but many were turned away or rounded up and placed in detention camps in Atlit and Cyprus
Cyprus
by the British.

UN Map, "Palestine plan of partition with economic union"

On 22 July 1946, Irgun
Irgun
attacked the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wing[143] of the King David Hotel
King David Hotel
in Jerusalem.[144][145][146] A total of 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured.[147] The hotel was the site of the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Palestine and Transjordan.[147][148] The attack initially had the approval of the Haganah. It was conceived as a response to Operation Agatha (a series of widespread raids, including one on the Jewish Agency, conducted by the British authorities) and was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era.[147][148] It was characterized as one of the "most lethal terrorist incidents of the twentieth century."[149] In 1947, the British government announced it would withdraw from Palestine, stating it was unable to arrive at a solution acceptable to both Arabs
Arabs
and Jews. On 15 May 1947, the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations resolved that the United Nations
United Nations
Special
Special
Committee on Palestine be created "to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine."[150] In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the General Assembly,[151] the majority of the Committee in Chapter VI proposed a plan to replace the British Mandate with "an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
... the last to be under an International Trusteeship System."[152] On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (II) recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union.[29] The plan attached to the resolution was essentially that proposed by the majority of the Committee in the report of 3 September. The Jewish Agency, which was the recognized representative of the Jewish community, accepted the plan.[31][32] The Arab League and Arab Higher Committee
Arab Higher Committee
of Palestine rejected it, and indicated that they would reject any other plan of partition.[30][153] On the following day, 1 December 1947, the Arab Higher Committee
Arab Higher Committee
proclaimed a three-day strike, and Arab gangs began attacking Jewish targets.[154] The Jews
Jews
were initially on the defensive as civil war broke out, but in early April 1948 moved onto the offensive.[155][156] The Arab Palestinian economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian Arabs
Arabs
fled or were expelled.[157]

David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel."[33][158] The only reference in the text of the Declaration to the borders of the new state is the use of the term Eretz-Israel
Eretz-Israel
("Land of Israel").[159] The following day, the armies of four Arab countries—Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq—entered what had been British Mandatory Palestine, launching the 1948 Arab–Israeli War;[160][161] contingents from Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sudan joined the war.[162][163] The apparent purpose of the invasion was to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state at inception, and some Arab leaders talked about driving the Jews
Jews
into the sea.[164][32][165] According to Benny Morris, Jews
Jews
felt that the invading Arab armies aimed to slaughter the Jews.[166] The Arab league stated that the invasion was to restore law and order and to prevent further bloodshed.[167]

Raising of the Ink Flag, marking the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War

After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established.[168] Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Egypt
Egypt
took control of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations
United Nations
estimated that more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled from advancing Israeli forces during the conflict—what would become known in Arabic as the Nakba ("catastrophe").[169] Some 156,000 remained and became Arab citizens of Israel.[170] Early years of the State of Israel Further information: Arab–Israeli conflict Israel
Israel
was admitted as a member of the United Nations
United Nations
by majority vote on 11 May 1949.[171] Both Israel
Israel
and Jordan
Jordan
were genuinely interested in a peace agreement but the British acted as a brake on the Jordanian effort in order to avoid damaging British interests in Egypt.[172] In the early years of the state, the Labor Zionist movement led by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
dominated Israeli politics.[173][174] The kibbutzim, or collective farming communities, played a pivotal role in establishing the new state.[175] Immigration to Israel
Israel
during the late 1940s and early 1950s was aided by the Israeli Immigration Department and the non-government sponsored Mossad
Mossad
Le Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet ("Institution for Illegal Immigration"[176]). Both groups facilitated regular immigration logistics like arranging transportation, but the latter also engaged in clandestine operations in countries, particularly in the Middle East
Middle East
and Eastern Europe, where the lives of Jews
Jews
were believed to be in danger and exit from those places was difficult. Mossad
Mossad
Le Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet was disbanded in 1953.[177] The immigration was in accordance with the One Million Plan. The immigrants came for differing reasons. Some held Zionist beliefs or came for the promise of a better life in Israel, while others moved to escape persecution or were expelled.[178][179] An influx of Holocaust survivors
Holocaust survivors
and Jews
Jews
from Arab and Muslim countries to Israel
Israel
during the first three years increased the number of Jews
Jews
from 700,000 to 1,400,000. By 1958, the population of Israel rose to two million.[180] Between 1948 and 1970, approximately 1,150,000 Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
relocated to Israel.[181] Some new immigrants arrived as refugees with no possessions and were housed in temporary camps known as ma'abarot; by 1952, over 200,000 people were living in these tent cities.[182] Jews
Jews
of European background were often treated more favorably than Jews
Jews
from Middle Eastern and North African countries—housing units reserved for the latter were often re-designated for the former, with the result that Jews
Jews
newly arrived from Arab lands generally ended up staying in transit camps for longer.[183] Tensions that developed between the two groups over such discrimination persist to the present day.[184] During this period, food, clothes and furniture had to be rationed in what became known as the austerity period. The need to solve the crisis led Ben-Gurion to sign a reparations agreement with West Germany
Germany
that triggered mass protests by Jews
Jews
angered at the idea that Israel
Israel
could accept monetary compensation for the Holocaust.[185]

Play media

U.S. newsreel on the trial of Adolf Eichmann

During the 1950s, Israel
Israel
was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, nearly always against civilians,[186] mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip,[187] leading to several Israeli counter-raids. In 1956, Great Britain and France
France
aimed at regaining control of the Suez Canal, which the Egyptians had nationalized. The continued blockade of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
and Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
to Israeli shipping, together with the growing amount of Fedayeen attacks against Israel's southern population, and recent Arab grave and threatening statements, prompted Israel
Israel
to attack Egypt.[188][189][190][191] Israel
Israel
joined a secret alliance with Great Britain and France
France
and overran the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
but was pressured to withdraw by the United Nations
United Nations
in return for guarantees of Israeli shipping rights in the Red Sea
Red Sea
via the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
and the Canal[citation needed].[192][193] The war, known as the Suez Crisis, resulted in significant reduction of Israeli border infiltration.[194][195][196][197] In the early 1960s, Israel
Israel
captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
in Argentina and brought him to Israel
Israel
for trial.[198] The trial had a major impact on public awareness of the Holocaust.[199] Eichmann remains the only person executed in Israel
Israel
by conviction in an Israeli civilian court.[200]

Territory held by Israel:   before the Six-Day War   after the war The Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
was returned to Egypt
Egypt
in 1982.

Since 1964, Arab countries, concerned over Israeli plans to divert waters of the Jordan
Jordan
River into the coastal plain,[201] had been trying to divert the headwaters to deprive Israel
Israel
of water resources, provoking tensions between Israel
Israel
on the one hand, and Syria
Syria
and Lebanon
Lebanon
on the other. Arab nationalists led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
refused to recognize Israel, and called for its destruction.[34][202][203] By 1966, Israeli-Arab relations had deteriorated to the point of actual battles taking place between Israeli and Arab forces.[204] In May 1967, Egypt
Egypt
massed its army near the border with Israel, expelled UN peacekeepers, stationed in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
since 1957, and blocked Israel's access to the Red Sea.[205][206][207] Other Arab states mobilized their forces.[208] Israel
Israel
reiterated that these actions were a casus belli and, on 5 June, launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt. Jordan, Syria
Syria
and Iraq
Iraq
responded and attacked Israel. In a Six-Day War, Israel
Israel
defeated Jordan
Jordan
and captured the West Bank, defeated Egypt
Egypt
and captured the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and Sinai Peninsula, and defeated Syria
Syria
and captured the Golan Heights.[209] Jerusalem's boundaries were enlarged, incorporating East Jerusalem, and the 1949 Green Line became the administrative boundary between Israel
Israel
and the occupied territories. Following the 1967 war and the "three nos" resolution of the Arab League, during the 1967–1970 War of Attrition
War of Attrition
Israel
Israel
faced attacks from the Egyptians in the Sinai, and from Palestinian groups targeting Israelis
Israelis
in the occupied territories, in Israel
Israel
proper, and around the world. Most important among the various Palestinian and Arab groups was the Palestinian Liberation Organization
Palestinian Liberation Organization
(PLO), established in 1964, which initially committed itself to "armed struggle as the only way to liberate the homeland".[210][211] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Palestinian groups launched a wave of attacks[212][213] against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world,[214] including a massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
in Munich. The Israeli government responded with an assassination campaign against the organizers of the massacre, a bombing and a raid on the PLO headquarters in Lebanon. On 6 October 1973, as Jews
Jews
were observing Yom Kippur, the Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
and Golan Heights, that opened the Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
War. The war ended on 25 October with Israel
Israel
successfully repelling Egyptian and Syrian forces but having suffered over 2,500 soldiers killed in a war which collectively took 10–35,000 lives in about 20 days.[215] An internal inquiry exonerated the government of responsibility for failures before and during the war, but public anger forced Prime Minister Golda Meir
Golda Meir
to resign.[216] In July 1976 an airliner was hijacked during its flight from Israel
Israel
to France
France
by Palestinian guerrillas and landed at Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos carried out an operation in which 102 out of 106 Israeli hostages were successfully rescued. Further conflict and peace process Further information: Israeli–Palestinian peace process See also: One-state solution, Two-state solution, Three-state solution, and Lieberman Plan The 1977 Knesset
Knesset
elections marked a major turning point in Israeli political history as Menachem Begin's Likud
Likud
party took control from the Labor Party.[217] Later that year, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat made a trip to Israel
Israel
and spoke before the Knesset
Knesset
in what was the first recognition of Israel
Israel
by an Arab head of state.[218] In the two years that followed, Sadat and Begin signed the Camp David Accords (1978) and the Israel– Egypt
Egypt
Peace Treaty (1979).[219] In return, Israel
Israel
withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
and agreed to enter negotiations over an autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip.[220] On 11 March 1978, a PLO guerilla raid from Lebanon
Lebanon
led to the Coastal Road massacre. Israel
Israel
responded by launching an invasion of southern Lebanon
Lebanon
to destroy the PLO bases south of the Litani River. Most PLO fighters withdrew, but Israel
Israel
was able to secure southern Lebanon until a UN force and the Lebanese army could take over. The PLO soon resumed its policy of attacks against Israel. In the next few years, the PLO infiltrated the south and kept up a sporadic shelling across the border. Israel
Israel
carried out numerous retaliatory attacks by air and on the ground.

Israel's 1980 law declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel."[221]

Meanwhile, Begin's government provided incentives for Israelis
Israelis
to settle in the occupied West Bank, increasing friction with the Palestinians in that area.[222] The Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, passed in 1980, was believed by some to reaffirm Israel's 1967 annexation of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by government decree, and reignited international controversy over the status of the city. No Israeli legislation has defined the territory of Israel
Israel
and no act specifically included East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
therein.[223] The position of the majority of UN member states is reflected in numerous resolutions declaring that actions taken by Israel
Israel
to settle its citizens in the West Bank, and impose its laws and administration on East Jerusalem, are illegal and have no validity.[224] In 1981 Israel
Israel
annexed the Golan Heights, although annexation was not recognized internationally.[225] Israel's population diversity expanded in the 1980s and 1990s. Several waves of Ethiopian Jews
Jews
immigrated to Israel since the 1980s, while between 1990 and 1994, immigration from the post-Soviet states increased Israel's population by twelve percent.[226] On 7 June 1981, the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's sole nuclear reactor under construction just outside Baghdad, in order to impede Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Following a series of PLO attacks in 1982, Israel
Israel
invaded Lebanon
Lebanon
that year to destroy the bases from which the PLO launched attacks and missiles into northern Israel.[227] In the first six days of fighting, the Israelis
Israelis
destroyed the military forces of the PLO in Lebanon
Lebanon
and decisively defeated the Syrians. An Israeli government inquiry—the Kahan Commission—would later hold Begin, Sharon and several Israeli generals as indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In 1985, Israel
Israel
responded to a Palestinian terrorist attack in Cyprus
Cyprus
by bombing the PLO headquarters in Tunisia. Israel
Israel
withdrew from most of Lebanon
Lebanon
in 1986, but maintained a borderland buffer zone in southern Lebanon
Lebanon
until 2000, from where Israeli forces engaged in conflict with Hezbollah. The First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule,[228] broke out in 1987, with waves of uncoordinated demonstrations and violence occurring in the occupied West Bank
West Bank
and Gaza. Over the following six years, the Intifada became more organised and included economic and cultural measures aimed at disrupting the Israeli occupation. More than a thousand people were killed in the violence.[229] During the 1991 Gulf War, the PLO supported Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Scud missile attacks against Israel. Despite public outrage, Israel
Israel
heeded American calls to refrain from hitting back and did not participate in that war.[230][231]

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
(left) with Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
(center) and King Hussein of Jordan
Jordan
(right), prior to signing the Israel– Jordan
Jordan
peace treaty in 1994.

In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
became Prime Minister following an election in which his party called for compromise with Israel's neighbors.[232][233] The following year, Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
on behalf of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
for the PLO, signed the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
the right to govern parts of the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip.[234] The PLO also recognized Israel's right to exist and pledged an end to terrorism.[235] In 1994, the Israel– Jordan
Jordan
peace treaty was signed, making Jordan
Jordan
the second Arab country to normalize relations with Israel.[236] Arab public support for the Accords was damaged by the continuation of Israeli settlements[237] and checkpoints, and the deterioration of economic conditions.[238] Israeli public support for the Accords waned as Israel
Israel
was struck by Palestinian suicide attacks.[239] In November 1995, while leaving a peace rally, Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a far-right-wing Jew who opposed the Accords.[240]

The site of the 2001 Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Dolphinarium discotheque massacre, in which 21 Israelis
Israelis
were killed.

Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
at the end of the 1990s, Israel
Israel
withdrew from Hebron,[241] and signed the Wye River Memorandum, giving greater control to the Palestinian National Authority.[242] Ehud Barak, elected Prime Minister in 1999, began the new millennium by withdrawing forces from Southern Lebanon
Lebanon
and conducting negotiations with Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
and U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
at the 2000 Camp David Summit. During the summit, Barak offered a plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The proposed state included the entirety of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and over 90% of the West Bank
West Bank
with Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as a shared capital.[243] Each side blamed the other for the failure of the talks. After a controversial visit by Likud
Likud
leader Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
to the Temple Mount, the Second Intifada
Second Intifada
began. Some commentators contend that the uprising was pre-planned by Arafat due to the collapse of peace talks.[244][245][246][247] Sharon became prime minister in a 2001 special election. During his tenure, Sharon carried out his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and also spearheaded the construction of the Israeli West Bank
West Bank
barrier,[248] ending the Intifada.[249][250] By this time 1,100 Israelis
Israelis
had been killed, mostly in suicide bombings.[251] The Palestinian fatalities, from 2000 to 2008, reached 4,791 killed by Israeli security forces, 44 killed by Israeli civilians, and 609 killed by Palestinians.[252] In July 2006, a Hezbollah
Hezbollah
artillery assault on Israel's northern border communities and a cross-border abduction of two Israeli soldiers precipitated the month-long Second Lebanon
Lebanon
War.[253][254] On 6 September 2007, the Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria. At the end of 2008, Israel
Israel
entered another conflict as a ceasefire between Hamas
Hamas
and Israel
Israel
collapsed. The 2008–09 Gaza War lasted three weeks and ended after Israel
Israel
announced a unilateral ceasefire.[255][256] Hamas
Hamas
announced its own ceasefire, with its own conditions of complete withdrawal and opening of border crossings. Despite neither the rocket launchings nor Israeli retaliatory strikes having completely stopped, the fragile ceasefire remained in order.[257] In what Israel
Israel
described as a response to more than a hundred Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities,[258] Israel
Israel
began an operation in Gaza on 14 November 2012, lasting eight days.[259] Israel
Israel
started another operation in Gaza following an escalation of rocket attacks by Hamas
Hamas
in July 2014.[260] Geography and environment Main articles: Geography of Israel
Geography of Israel
and Wildlife of Israel

Geography of Israel

v t e

Galilee Coastal plain Judaean Mountains Jordan Valley Negev Levantine Sea (Mediterranean) Kinneret Dead Sea Gulf of Eilat West Bank Gaza Strip Lebanon Syria Jordan Egypt

Satellite
Satellite
images of Israel
Israel
and neighboring territories during the day (left) and night (right)

Israel
Israel
is located in the Levant
Levant
area of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
region. The country is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea, bounded by Lebanon
Lebanon
to the north, Syria
Syria
to the northeast, Jordan
Jordan
and the West Bank to the east, and Egypt
Egypt
and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
to the southwest. It lies between latitudes 29° and 34° N, and longitudes 34° and 36° E. The sovereign territory of Israel
Israel
(according to the demarcation lines of the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
and excluding all territories captured by Israel
Israel
during the 1967 Six-Day War) is approximately 20,770 square kilometers (8,019 sq mi) in area, of which two percent is water.[6] However Israel
Israel
is so narrow that the exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
is double the land area of the country.[261] The total area under Israeli law, including East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the Golan Heights, is 22,072 square kilometers (8,522 sq mi),[262] and the total area under Israeli control, including the military-controlled and partially Palestinian-governed territory of the West Bank, is 27,799 square kilometers (10,733 sq mi).[263] Despite its small size, Israel
Israel
is home to a variety of geographic features, from the Negev
Negev
desert in the south to the inland fertile Jezreel Valley, mountain ranges of the Galilee, Carmel and toward the Golan in the north. The Israeli coastal plain
Israeli coastal plain
on the shores of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
is home to most of the nation's population.[264] East of the central highlands lies the Jordan
Jordan
Rift Valley, which forms a small part of the 6,500-kilometer (4,039 mi) Great Rift Valley. The Jordan
Jordan
River runs along the Jordan
Jordan
Rift Valley, from Mount Hermon through the Hulah Valley
Hulah Valley
and the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the surface of the Earth.[265] Further south is the Arabah, ending with the Gulf of Eilat, part of the Red Sea. Unique to Israel
Israel
and the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
are makhteshim, or erosion cirques.[266] The largest makhtesh in the world is Ramon Crater
Ramon Crater
in the Negev,[267] which measures 40 by 8 kilometers (25 by 5 mi).[268] A report on the environmental status of the Mediterranean Basin
Mediterranean Basin
states that Israel
Israel
has the largest number of plant species per square meter of all the countries in the basin.[269] Tectonics and seismicity Further information: List of earthquakes in the Levant The Jordan
Jordan
Rift Valley is the result of tectonic movements within the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
Transform (DSF) fault system. The DSF forms the transform boundary between the African Plate
African Plate
to the west and the Arabian Plate to the east. The Golan Heights
Golan Heights
and all of Jordan
Jordan
are part of the Arabian Plate, while the Galilee, West Bank, Coastal Plain, and Negev along with the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
are on the African Plate. This tectonic disposition leads to a relatively high seismic activity in the region. The entire Jordan
Jordan
Valley segment is thought to have ruptured repeatedly, for instance during the last two major earthquakes along this structure in 749 and 1033. The deficit in slip that has built up since the 1033 event is sufficient to cause an earthquake of Mw~7.4.[270] The most catastrophic known earthquakes occurred in 31 BCE, 363, 749, and 1033 CE, that is every ca. 400 years on average.[271] Destructive earthquakes leading to serious loss of life strike about every 80 years.[272] While stringent construction regulations are currently in place and recently built structures are earthquake-safe, as of 2007[update] the majority of the buildings in Israel
Israel
were older than these regulations and many public buildings as well as 50,000 residential buildings did not meet the new standards and were "expected to collapse" if exposed to a strong quake.[272] Climate

Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
map of Israel

Temperatures in Israel
Israel
vary widely, especially during the winter. Coastal areas, such as those of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Haifa, have a typical Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
with cool, rainy winters and long, hot summers. The area of Beersheba
Beersheba
and the Northern Negev
Negev
have a semi-arid climate with hot summers, cool winters, and fewer rainy days than the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate. The Southern Negev
Negev
and the Arava areas have a desert climate with very hot, dry summers, and mild winters with few days of rain. The highest temperature in the continent of Asia (54.0 °C or 129.2 °F) was recorded in 1942 at Tirat Zvi kibbutz in the northern Jordan
Jordan
River valley.[273][274] At the other extreme, mountainous regions can be windy and cold, and areas at elevation of 750 meters or more (same elevation as Jerusalem) will usually receive at least one snowfall each year.[275] From May to September, rain in Israel
Israel
is rare.[276][277] With scarce water resources, Israel
Israel
has developed various water-saving technologies, including drip irrigation.[278] Israelis
Israelis
also take advantage of the considerable sunlight available for solar energy, making Israel
Israel
the leading nation in solar energy use per capita (practically every house uses solar panels for water heating).[279] Four different phytogeographic regions exist in Israel, due to the country's location between the temperate and tropical zones, bordering the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
in the west and the desert in the east. For this reason, the flora and fauna of Israel
Israel
are extremely diverse. There are 2,867 known species of plants found in Israel. Of these, at least 253 species are introduced and nonnative.[280] There are 380 Israeli nature reserves.[281]

Tiberias
Tiberias
and the Sea of Galilee

Field of Anemone coronaria, national flower of Israel

Makhtesh
Makhtesh
Ramon, a type of crater unique to Israel
Israel
and the Sinai Peninsula

Snow in Galilee

Flowers of Israel

Demographics Main articles: Demographics of Israel
Demographics of Israel
and Israelis In 2018, Israel's population was an estimated 8,839,100 people,[7] of whom 74.7% were recorded by the civil government as Jews.[5] Arabs
Arabs
comprised 20.8% of the population, while non- Arab Christians
Arab Christians
and people who have no religion listed in the civil registry made up 4.5%.[5] Over the last decade, large numbers of migrant workers from Romania, Thailand, China, Africa, and South America have settled in Israel. Exact figures are unknown, as many of them are living in the country illegally,[282] but estimates run in the region of 203,000.[283] By June 2012, approximately 60,000 African migrants had entered Israel.[284] About 92% of Israelis
Israelis
live in urban areas.[285]

Immigration to Israel
Israel
in the years 1948–2015. The two peaks were in 1949 and 1990.

Israel
Israel
was established as a homeland for the Jewish people
Jewish people
and is often referred to as a Jewish state. The country's Law of Return grants all Jews
Jews
and those of Jewish ancestry the right to Israeli citizenship.[286] Retention of Israel's population since 1948 is about even or greater, when compared to other countries with mass immigration.[287] Jewish emigration from Israel
Israel
(called yerida in Hebrew), primarily to the United States
United States
and Canada, is described by demographers as modest,[288] but is often cited by Israeli government ministries as a major threat to Israel's future.[289][290] Three quarters of the population are Jews
Jews
from a diversity of Jewish backgrounds. Approximately 77% of Israeli Jews
Israeli Jews
are born in Israel, 16% are immigrants from Europe and the Americas, and 7% are immigrants from Asia and Africa (including the Arab world).[291] Jews
Jews
from Europe and the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and their descendants born in Israel, including Ashkenazi Jews, constitute approximately 50% of Jewish Israelis. Jews
Jews
who left or fled Arab and Muslim countries and their descendants, including both Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews,[292] form most of the rest of the Jewish population.[293][294][295] Jewish intermarriage rates run at over 35% and recent studies suggest that the percentage of Israelis
Israelis
descended from both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews
Jews
increases by 0.5 percent every year, with over 25% of school children now originating from both communities.[296] Around 4% of Israelis
Israelis
(300,000), ethnically defined as "others", are Russian descendants of Jewish origin or family who are not Jewish according to rabbinical law, but were eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.[297][298][299] The total number of Israeli settlers beyond the Green Line is over 600,000 (≈10% of the Jewish Israeli population).[300] In 2016[update], 399,300 Israelis
Israelis
lived in West Bank
West Bank
settlements,[301] including those that predated the establishment of the State of Israel and which were re-established after the Six-Day War, in cities such as Hebron
Hebron
and Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
bloc. In addition to the West Bank
West Bank
settlements, there were more than 200,000 Jews
Jews
living in East Jerusalem,[302] and 20,000 in the Golan Heights.[301] Approximately 7,800 Israelis
Israelis
lived in settlements in the Gaza Strip, known as Gush Katif, until they were evacuated by the government as part of its 2005 disengagement plan.[303] Major urban areas For a more comprehensive list, see List of cities in Israel.

Park Tzameret
Park Tzameret
residential neighborhood in Tel Aviv.

There are four major metropolitan areas: Gush Dan
Gush Dan
(Tel Aviv metropolitan area; population 3,854,000), Jerusalem
Jerusalem
metropolitan area (population 1,253,900), Haifa
Haifa
metropolitan area (population 924,400), and Beersheba
Beersheba
metropolitan area (population 377,100).[304] Israel's largest municipality, in population and area, is Jerusalem with 882,652 residents in an area of 125 square kilometres (48 sq mi).[305] Israeli government statistics on Jerusalem include the population and area of East Jerusalem, which is widely recognized as part of the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
under Israeli occupation.[306] Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Haifa
Haifa
rank as Israel's next most populous cities, with populations of 438,818 and 279,591, respectively.[305] Israel
Israel
has 15 cities with populations over 100,000. In all, there are 77 municipalities granted "city" status by the Ministry of Interior. Two more cities are planned: Kasif, a planned city to be built in the Negev, and Harish, originally a small town currently being built into a large city.

 

v t e

Largest cities in Israel Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics[305]

Rank Name District Pop. Rank Name District Pop.

Jerusalem

Tel Aviv 1 Jerusalem Jerusalem 882,652a 11 Ramat Gan Tel Aviv 153,674

Haifa

Rishon LeZion

2 Tel Aviv Tel Aviv 438,818 12 Rehovot Central 135,726

3 Haifa Haifa 279,591 13 Ashkelon Southern 134,454

4 Rishon LeZion Central 247,323 14 Bat Yam Tel Aviv 128,904

5 Petah Tikva Central 236,169 15 Beit Shemesh Jerusalem 109,762

6 Ashdod Southern 221,591 16 Kfar Saba Central 98,981

7 Netanya Central 210,834 17 Herzliya Tel Aviv 93,116

8 Beersheba Southern 205,810 18 Hadera Haifa 91,707

9 Holon Tel Aviv 190,838 19 Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut Central 90,013

10 Bnei Brak Tel Aviv 188,964 20 Nazareth Northern 75,922

^a This number includes East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and West Bank
West Bank
areas. Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is internationally unrecognized. Language Main article: Languages of Israel

Road sign in Hebrew, Arabic, and English

Israel
Israel
has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic.[6] Hebrew is the primary language of the state and is spoken every day by the majority of the population. Arabic is spoken by the Arab minority, with Hebrew taught in Arab schools. As a country of immigrants, many languages can be heard on the streets. Due to mass immigration from the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Ethiopia (some 130,000 Ethiopian Jews
Jews
live in Israel),[307][308] Russian and Amharic
Amharic
are widely spoken.[309] More than one million Russian-speaking immigrants arrived in Israel
Israel
from the post-Soviet states between 1990 and 2004.[310] French is spoken by around 700,000 Israelis,[311] mostly originating from France
France
and North Africa (see Maghrebi Jews). English was an official language during the Mandate period; it lost this status after the establishment of Israel, but retains a role comparable to that of an official language,[312][313][314] as may be seen in road signs and official documents. Many Israelis
Israelis
communicate reasonably well in English, as many television programs are broadcast in English with subtitles and the language is taught from the early grades in elementary school. In addition, Israeli universities offer courses in the English language on various subjects.[315] Religion Main articles: Religion in Israel
Religion in Israel
and Abrahamic religions

Religion in Israel

v t e

     Jewish ·      Muslim ·      Christian ·      Druze ·      Other. Until 1995, figures for Christians also included Others.[316]

Israel
Israel
comprises a major part of the Holy Land, a region of significant importance to all Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Druze
Druze
and Bahá'í Faith. The religious affiliation of Israeli Jews
Israeli Jews
varies widely: a social survey indicates that 49% self-identify as Hiloni
Hiloni
(secular), 29% as Masorti (traditional), 13% as Dati
Dati
(religious) and 9% as Haredi (ultra-Orthodox).[317] Haredi Jews
Jews
are expected to represent more than 20% of Israel's Jewish population by 2028.[318] Making up 17.6% of the population, Muslims constitute Israel's largest religious minority. About 2% of the population is Christian and 1.6% is Druze.[6] The Christian population primarily comprises Arab Christians, but also includes post-Soviet immigrants, the foreign laborers of multinational origins, and followers of Messianic Judaism, considered by most Christians and Jews
Jews
to be a form of Christianity.[319] Members of many other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus, maintain a presence in Israel, albeit in small numbers.[320] Out of more than one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, about 300,000 are considered not Jewish by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.[321]

The Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
and the Western Wall, Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is of special importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians as it is the home of sites that are pivotal to their religious beliefs, such as the Old City that incorporates the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[322] Other locations of religious importance in Israel are Nazareth
Nazareth
(holy in Christianity
Christianity
as the site of the Annunciation
Annunciation
of Mary), Tiberias
Tiberias
and Safed
Safed
(two of the Four Holy Cities
Four Holy Cities
in Judaism), the White Mosque in Ramla
Ramla
(holy in Islam
Islam
as the shrine of the prophet Saleh), and the Church of Saint George
Saint George
in Lod
Lod
(holy in Christianity and Islam
Islam
as the tomb of Saint George
Saint George
or Al Khidr). A number of other religious landmarks are located in the West Bank, among them Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the birthplace of Jesus and Rachel's Tomb
Rachel's Tomb
in Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs
in Hebron. The administrative center of the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
and the Shrine of the Báb are located at the Bahá'í World Centre
Bahá'í World Centre
in Haifa; the leader of the faith is buried in Acre. Apart from maintenance staff, there is no Bahá'í community in Israel, although it is a destination for pilgrimages. Bahá'í staff in Israel
Israel
do not teach their faith to Israelis
Israelis
following strict policy.[323][324][325] A few miles south of the Bahá'í World Centre
Bahá'í World Centre
is Mahmood Mosque affiliated with the reformist Ahmadiyya movement. Kababir, Haifa's mixed neighbourhood of Jews
Jews
and Ahmadi Arabs
Arabs
is the only one of its kind in the country.[326][327] Education Main article: Education in Israel

Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University

Education is highly valued in the Israeli culture and was viewed as a fundamental block of ancient Israelites.[328] Jewish communities in the Levant
Levant
were the first to introduce compulsory education for which the organized community, not less than the parents was responsible.[329] Many international business leaders such as Microsoft
Microsoft
founder Bill Gates
Bill Gates
have praised Israel
Israel
for its high quality of education in helping spur Israel's economic development and technological boom.[330][331][332] In 2015, the country ranked third among OECD
OECD
members (after Canada
Canada
and Japan) for the percentage of 25–64 year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 49% compared with the OECD
OECD
average of 35%.[49] In 2012, the country ranked third in the world in the number of academic degrees per capita (20 percent of the population).[333][334] Israel
Israel
has a school life expectancy of 16 years and a literacy rate of 97.8%.[6] The State Education Law, passed in 1953, established five types of schools: state secular, state religious, ultra orthodox, communal settlement schools, and Arab schools. The public secular is the largest school group, and is attended by the majority of Jewish and non-Arab pupils in Israel. Most Arabs
Arabs
send their children to schools where Arabic is the language of instruction.[335] Education is compulsory in Israel
Israel
for children between the ages of three and eighteen.[336][337] Schooling is divided into three tiers – primary school (grades 1–6), middle school (grades 7–9), and high school (grades 10–12) – culminating with Bagrut
Bagrut
matriculation exams. Proficiency in core subjects such as mathematics, the Hebrew language, Hebrew and general literature, the English language, history, Biblical scripture and civics is necessary to receive a Bagrut
Bagrut
certificate.[338] Israel's Jewish population maintains a relatively high level of educational attainment where just under half of all Israeli Jews
Israeli Jews
(46%) hold post-secondary degrees. This figure has remained stable in their already high levels of educational attainment over recent generations.[339][340] Israeli Jews
Israeli Jews
(among those ages 25 and older) have average of 11.6 years of schooling making them one of the most highly educated of all major religious groups in the world.[341][342] In Arab, Christian and Druze
Druze
schools, the exam on Biblical studies is replaced by an exam on Muslim, Christian or Druze heritage.[343] Maariv described the Christian Arabs
Arabs
sectors as "the most successful in education system",[344] since Christians fared the best in terms of education in comparison to any other religion in Israel.[345] Israeli children from Russian-speaking families have a higher bagrut pass rate at high-school level.[346] Although amongst immigrant children born in the Former Soviet Union, the bagrut pass rate is highest amongst those families from European FSU states at 62.6%, and lower amongst those from Central Asian and Caucasian FSU states.[347] In 2014, 61.5% of all Israeli twelfth graders earned a matriculation certificate.[348]

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Israel
Israel
has a tradition of higher education where its quality university education has been largely responsible in spurring the nations modern economic development.[349] Israel
Israel
has nine public universities that are subsidized by the state and 49 private colleges.[338][350][351] The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel's second-oldest university after the Technion,[352][353] houses the National Library of Israel, the world's largest repository of Judaica and Hebraica.[354] The Technion
Technion
and the Hebrew University consistently ranked among world's 100 top universities by the prestigious ARWU academic ranking.[355] Other major universities in the country include the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, the University of Haifa and the Open University of Israel. Ariel University, in the West Bank, is the newest university institution, upgraded from college status, and the first in over thirty years. Government and politics Main articles: Politics of Israel
Politics of Israel
and Israeli system of government See also: Criticism of the Israeli government

President Reuven Rivlin

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Knesset
Knesset
chamber, home to the Israeli parliament

Israel
Israel
is a parliamentary democracy with universal suffrage. A member of parliament supported by a parliamentary majority becomes the prime minister—usually this is the chair of the largest party. The prime minister is the head of government and head of the cabinet.[356][357] Israel
Israel
is governed by a 120-member parliament, known as the Knesset. Membership of the Knesset
Knesset
is based on proportional representation of political parties,[358] with a 3.25% electoral threshold, which in practice has resulted in coalition governments. Parliamentary elections are scheduled every four years, but unstable coalitions or a no-confidence vote by the Knesset
Knesset
can dissolve a government earlier. The Basic Laws of Israel
Basic Laws of Israel
function as an uncodified constitution. In 2003, the Knesset
Knesset
began to draft an official constitution based on these laws.[6][359] The president of Israel
Israel
is head of state, with limited and largely ceremonial duties.[356] Israel
Israel
has no official religion,[360][361][362] but the definition of the state as "Jewish and democratic" creates a strong connection with Judaism, as well as a conflict between state law and religious law. Interaction between the political parties keeps the balance between state and religion largely as it existed during the British Mandate.[363] Legal system Main articles: Judiciary of Israel
Judiciary of Israel
and Israeli law

Supreme Court of Israel, Givat Ram, Jerusalem

Israel
Israel
has a three-tier court system. At the lowest level are magistrate courts, situated in most cities across the country. Above them are district courts, serving as both appellate courts and courts of first instance; they are situated in five of Israel's six districts. The third and highest tier is the Supreme Court, located in Jerusalem; it serves a dual role as the highest court of appeals and the High Court of Justice. In the latter role, the Supreme Court rules as a court of first instance, allowing individuals, both citizens and non-citizens, to petition against the decisions of state authorities.[364][365] Although Israel
Israel
supports the goals of the International Criminal Court, it has not ratified the Rome Statute, citing concerns about the ability of the court to remain free from political impartiality.[366] Israel's legal system combines three legal traditions: English common law, civil law, and Jewish law.[6] It is based on the principle of stare decisis (precedent) and is an adversarial system, where the parties in the suit bring evidence before the court. Court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries.[364] Marriage and divorce are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian. The election of judges is carried out by a committee of two Knesset
Knesset
members, three Supreme Court justices, two Israeli Bar members and two ministers (one of which, Israel's justice minister, is the committee's chairman). The committee's members of the Knesset
Knesset
are secretly elected by the Knesset, and one of them is traditionally a member of the opposition, the committee's Supreme Court justices are chosen by tradition from all Supreme Court justices by seniority, the Israeli Bar members are elected by the bar, and the second minister is appointed by the Israeli cabinet. The current justice minister and committee's chairwoman is Ayelet Shaked.[367][368][369] Administration of Israel's courts (both the "General" courts and the Labor Courts) is carried by the Administration of Courts, situated in Jerusalem. Both General and Labor courts are paperless courts: the storage of court files, as well as court decisions, are conducted electronically. Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty seeks to defend human rights and liberties in Israel. Administrative divisions Main article: Districts of Israel

Districts of Israel North Haifa Center Tel Aviv Judea and Samaria Jerusalem South

v t e

The State of Israel
Israel
is divided into six main administrative districts, known as mehozot (מחוזות; singular: mahoz) – Center, Haifa, Jerusalem, North, South, and Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
districts, as well as the Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
Area in the West Bank. All of the Judea
Judea
and Samaria Area and parts of the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and Northern districts are not recognized internationally as part of Israel. Districts are further divided into fifteen sub-districts known as nafot (נפות; singular: nafa), which are themselves partitioned into fifty natural regions.[370]

District Capital Largest city Population[301]

Jews Arabs Total note

Jerusalem Jerusalem 7001670000000000000♠67% 7001320000000000000♠32% 1083300 !1,083,300 a

North Nazareth
Nazareth
Illit Nazareth 7001430000000000000♠43% 7001540000000000000♠54% 1401300 !1,401,300

Haifa Haifa 7001680000000000000♠68% 7001260000000000000♠26% 0996300 !996,300

Center Ramla Rishon LeZion 7001880000000000000♠88% 7000800000000000000♠8% 2115800 !2,115,800

Tel Aviv Tel Aviv 7001930000000000000♠93% 7000200000000000000♠2% 1388400 !1,388,400

South Beersheba Ashdod 7001730000000000000♠73% 7001200000000000000♠20% 1244200 !1,244,200

Judea
Judea
and Samaria Ariel Modi'in Illit 7001980000000000000♠98% 5000000000000000000♠0% 0399300 !399,300 b

^a Including over 200,000 Jews
Jews
and 300,000 Arabs
Arabs
in East Jerusalem.[302] ^b Israeli citizens only.

Israeli-occupied territories Main article: Israeli-occupied territories

Map of Israel
Israel
showing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights

In 1967, as a result of the Six-Day War, Israel
Israel
captured and occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and the Golan Heights. Israel
Israel
also captured the Sinai Peninsula, but returned it to Egypt
Egypt
as part of the 1979 Egypt– Israel
Israel
Peace Treaty.[371] Between 1982 and 2000, Israel
Israel
occupied part of southern Lebanon, in what was known as the Security Belt. Since Israel's capture of these territories, Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
and military installations have been built within each of them, except Lebanon. Israel
Israel
has applied civilian law to the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
and East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and granted their inhabitants permanent residency status and the ability to apply for citizenship. The West Bank, outside of the Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
within the territory, has remained under direct military rule, and Palestinians in this area cannot become Israeli citizens. Israel withdrew its military forces and dismantled the Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
as part of its disengagement from Gaza though it continues to maintain control of its airspace and waters. The UN Security Council has declared the annexation of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
to be "null and void" and continues to view the territories as occupied.[372][373] The International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the United Nations, asserted, in its 2004 advisory opinion on the legality of the construction of the Israeli West Bank
West Bank
barrier, that the lands captured by Israel
Israel
in the Six-Day War, including East Jerusalem, are occupied territory.[374] The status of East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in any future peace settlement has at times been a difficult issue in negotiations between Israeli governments and representatives of the Palestinians, as Israel
Israel
views it as its sovereign territory, as well as part of its capital. Most negotiations relating to the territories have been on the basis of United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 242, which emphasises "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war", and calls on Israel
Israel
to withdraw from occupied territories in return for normalization of relations with Arab states, a principle known as "Land for peace".[375][376][377] According to some observers,[weasel words] Israel
Israel
has engaged in systematic and widespread violations of human rights in the occupied territories, including the occupation itself[378] and war crimes against civilians.[379][380][381][382] The allegations include violations of international humanitarian law[383] by the United Nations Human Rights Council,[384] with local residents having "limited ability to hold governing authorities accountable for such abuses" by the U.S. State Department,[385] mass arbitrary arrests, torture, unlawful killings, systemic abuses and impunity by Amnesty International and others[386][387][388][389][390][391] and a denial of the right to Palestinian self-determination.[392][393][394][395][396] In response to such allegations, Prime Minister Netanyahu has defended the country's security forces for protecting the innocent from terrorists[397] and expressed contempt for what he describes as a lack of concern about the human rights violations committed by "criminal killers".[398] Some observers, such as Israeli officials, scholars,[399] United States
United States
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley[400][401] and UN secretary-generals Ban Ki-moon[402] and Kofi Annan,[403] also assert that the UN is disproportionately concerned with Israeli misconduct.[excessive detail?]

Israeli West Bank
West Bank
barrier separating Israel
Israel
and the West Bank

The West Bank
West Bank
was occupied and annexed by Jordan
Jordan
in 1950, following the Arab rejection of the UN decision to create two states in Palestine. Only Britain recognized this annexation and Jordan
Jordan
has since ceded its claim to the territory to the PLO. The population are mainly Palestinians, including refugees of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.[404] From their occupation in 1967 until 1993, the Palestinians living in these territories were under Israeli military administration. Since the Israel–PLO letters of recognition, most of the Palestinian population and cities have been under the internal jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and only partial Israeli military control, although Israel
Israel
has on several occasions redeployed its troops and reinstated full military administration during periods of unrest. In response to increasing attacks during the Second Intifada, the Israeli government started to construct the Israeli West Bank barrier.[405] When completed, approximately 13% of the barrier will be constructed on the Green Line or in Israel
Israel
with 87% inside the West Bank.[406][407] The Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
was occupied by Egypt
Egypt
from 1948 to 1967 and then by Israel
Israel
after 1967. In 2005, as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, Israel
Israel
removed all of its settlers and forces from the territory. Israel
Israel
does not consider the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
to be occupied territory and declared it a "foreign territory". That view has been disputed by numerous international humanitarian organizations and various bodies of the United Nations.[408][409][410][411][412] Following the 2007 Battle of Gaza, when Hamas
Hamas
assumed power in the Gaza Strip,[413] Israel
Israel
tightened its control of the Gaza crossings along its border, as well as by sea and air, and prevented persons from entering and exiting the area except for isolated cases it deemed humanitarian.[413] Gaza has a border with Egypt
Egypt
and an agreement between Israel, the European Union and the PA governed how border crossing would take place (it was monitored by European observers).[414] Foreign relations Main articles: Foreign relations of Israel
Foreign relations of Israel
and International recognition of Israel

  Diplomatic relations   Diplomatic relations suspended   Former diplomatic relations   No diplomatic relations, but former trade relations   No diplomatic relations

Israel
Israel
maintains diplomatic relations with 158 countries and has 107 diplomatic missions around the world;[415] countries with whom they have no diplomatic relations include most Muslim countries.[416] Only three members of the Arab League
Arab League
have normalized relations with Israel: Egypt
Egypt
and Jordan
Jordan
signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994, respectively, and Mauritania opted for full diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
in 1999. Despite the peace treaty between Israel
Israel
and Egypt, Israel
Israel
is still widely considered an enemy country among Egyptians.[417] Under Israeli law, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen
Yemen
are enemy countries,[418] and Israeli citizens may not visit them without permission from the Ministry of the Interior.[419] Iran
Iran
had diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
under the Pahlavi dynasty[420] but withdrew its recognition of Israel
Israel
during the Islamic Revolution.[421] As a result of the 2008–09 Gaza War, Mauritania, Qatar, Bolivia, and Venezuela suspended political and economic ties with Israel.[422][423] The United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
were the first two countries to recognize the State of Israel, having declared recognition roughly simultaneously.[424] Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
were broken in 1967, following the Six-Day War, and renewed in October 1991.[425] The United States
United States
regards Israel
Israel
as its "most reliable partner in the Middle East,"[426] based on "common democratic values, religious affinities, and security interests".[427] The United States has provided $68 billion in military assistance and $32 billion in grants to Israel
Israel
since 1967, under the Foreign Assistance Act (period beginning 1962),[428] more than any other country for that period until 2003.[428][429][430] The United Kingdom is seen as having a "natural" relationship with Israel
Israel
on account of the British Mandate for Palestine.[431] Relations between the two countries were also made stronger by former prime minister Tony Blair's efforts for a two state resolution. By 2007[update], Germany had paid 25 billion euros in reparations to the Israeli state and individual Israeli Holocaust survivors.[432] Israel
Israel
is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy
European Neighbourhood Policy
(ENP), which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.[433] Although Turkey
Turkey
and Israel
Israel
did not establish full diplomatic relations until 1991,[434] Turkey
Turkey
has cooperated with the Jewish state since its recognition of Israel
Israel
in 1949. Turkey's ties to the other Muslim-majority nations in the region have at times resulted in pressure from Arab and Muslim states to temper its relationship with Israel.[435] Relations between Turkey
Turkey
and Israel
Israel
took a downturn after the 2008–09 Gaza War and Israel's raid of the Gaza flotilla.[436] Relations between Greece
Greece
and Israel
Israel
have improved since 1995 due to the decline of Israeli-Turkish relations.[437] The two countries have a defense cooperation agreement and in 2010, the Israeli Air Force hosted Greece's Hellenic Air Force
Hellenic Air Force
in a joint exercise at the Uvda base. The joint Cyprus- Israel
Israel
oil and gas explorations centered on the Leviathan gas field
Leviathan gas field
are an important factor for Greece, given its strong links with Cyprus.[438] Cooperation in the world's longest sub-sea electric power cable, the EuroAsia Interconnector, has strengthened relations between Cyprus
Cyprus
and Israel.[439] Azerbaijan is one of the few majority Muslim countries to develop bilateral strategic and economic relations with Israel. Azerbaijan supplies Israel
Israel
with a substantial amount of its oil needs, and Israel has helped modernize the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. India established full diplomatic ties with Israel
Israel
in 1992 and has fostered a strong military, technological and cultural partnership with the country since then.[440] According to an international opinion survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Israel
Israel
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India is the most pro- Israel
Israel
country in the world.[441][442] India is the largest customer of the Israeli military equipment and Israel
Israel
is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia.[443] Ethiopia is Israel's main ally in Africa due to common political, religious and security interests.[444] Israel
Israel
provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects and thousands of Ethiopian Jews
Jews
live in Israel. International humanitarian efforts Israeli foreign aid ranks low among OECD
OECD
nations, spending less than 0.1% of its GNI on development assistance, as opposed to the recommended 0.7%. The country also ranked 43rd in the 2016 World Giving Index.[445] However, Israel
Israel
has a history of providing emergency aid and humanitarian response teams to disasters across the world.[446] Israel's humanitarian efforts officially began in 1957, with the establishment of Mashav, the Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.[447] There are additional Israeli humanitarian and emergency response groups that work with the Israel
Israel
government, including IsraAid, a joint programme run by 14 Israeli organizations and North American Jewish groups,[448] ZAKA,[449] The Fast Israeli Rescue and Search Team (FIRST),[450] Israeli Flying Aid (IFA),[451] Save a Child's Heart (SACH)[452] and Latet.[453] Between 1985 and 2015, Israel
Israel
sent 24 delegations of IDF search and rescue unit, the Home Front Command, to 22 countries.[454] In Haiti, immediately following the 2010 earthquake, Israel
Israel
was the first country to set up a field hospital capable of performing surgical operations.[455] Israel
Israel
sent over 200 medical doctors and personnel to start treating injured Haitians at the scene.[456] At the conclusion of its humanitarian mission 11 days later,[457] the Israeli delegation had treated more than 1,110 patients, conducted 319 successful surgeries, delivered 16 births and rescued or assisted in the rescue of four individuals.[458][459] Despite radiation concerns, Israel
Israel
was one of the first countries to send a medical delegation to Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.[460] Israel dispatched a medical team to the tsunami-stricken city of Kurihara
Kurihara
in 2011. A medical clinic run by an IDF team of some 50 members featured pediatric, surgical, maternity and gynecological, and otolaryngology wards, together with an optometry department, a laboratory, a pharmacy and an intensive care unit. After treating 200 patients in two weeks, the departing emergency team donated its equipment to the Japanese.[461] Military Main articles: Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
and Israeli security forces Further information: List of wars involving Israel, List of the Israel Defense Forces operations, and Israel
Israel
and weapons of mass destruction The Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Cabinet. The IDF consist of the army, air force and navy. It was founded during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
by consolidating paramilitary organizations—chiefly the Haganah—that preceded the establishment of the state.[462] The IDF also draws upon the resources of the Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman), which works with Mossad
Mossad
and Shabak.[463] The Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
have been involved in several major wars and border conflicts in its short history, making it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world.[464][465]

Squad commanders exercise at Eliakim
Eliakim
training base in 2012

Most Israelis
Israelis
are drafted into the military at the age of 18. Men serve two years and eight months and women two years.[466] Following mandatory service, Israeli men join the reserve forces and usually do up to several weeks of reserve duty every year until their forties. Most women are exempt from reserve duty. Arab citizens of Israel (except the Druze) and those engaged in full-time religious studies are exempt from military service, although the exemption of yeshiva students has been a source of contention in Israeli society for many years.[467][468] An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is Sherut Leumi, or national service, which involves a program of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks.[469] As a result of its conscription program, the IDF maintains approximately 176,500 active troops and an additional 445,000 reservists.[470]

Iron Dome
Iron Dome
is the world's first operational anti-artillery rocket defense system.

The nation's military relies heavily on high-tech weapons systems designed and manufactured in Israel
Israel
as well as some foreign imports. The Arrow missile is one of the world's few operational anti-ballistic missile systems.[471] The Python air-to-air missile series is often considered one of the most crucial weapons in its military history.[472] Israel's Spike missile is one of the most widely exported ATGMs in the world.[473] Israel's Iron Dome
Iron Dome
anti-missile air defense system gained worldwide acclaim after intercepting hundreds of Qassam, 122 mm Grad and Fajr-5
Fajr-5
artillery rockets fire by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.[474][475] Since the Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
War, Israel
Israel
has developed a network of reconnaissance satellites.[476] The success of the Ofeq
Ofeq
program has made Israel
Israel
one of seven countries capable of launching such satellites.[477] Israel
Israel
is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons[478] as well as chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.[479] Israel
Israel
has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons[480] and maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity toward its nuclear capabilities.[481] The Israeli Navy's Dolphin submarines are believed to be armed with nuclear Popeye Turbo
Popeye Turbo
missiles, offering second-strike capability.[482] Since the Gulf War
Gulf War
in 1991, when Israel
Israel
was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles, all homes in Israel
Israel
are required to have a reinforced security room, Merkhav Mugan, impermeable to chemical and biological substances.[483] Since Israel's establishment, military expenditure constituted a significant portion of the country's gross domestic product, with peak of 30.3% of GDP spent on defense in 1975.[484] In 2016, Israel
Israel
ranked 5th in the world by defense spending as a percentage of GDP, with 5.6%,[485] and 15th by total military expenditure, with $18 billion.[486] Since 1974, the United States
United States
has been a particularly notable contributor of military aid to Israel.[487] Under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2016, the U.S. is expected to provide the country with $3.8 billion per year, or around 20% of Israel's defense budget, from 2018 to 2028.[488] Israel
Israel
ranked 7th globally for arms exports in 2016.[489] The majority of Israel's arms exports are unreported for security reasons.[490] Israel
Israel
is consistently rated low in the Global Peace Index, ranking 144th out of 163 nations for peacefulness in 2017.[491] Economy Main article: Economy of Israel

The Diamond Exchange District
Diamond Exchange District
in Ramat Gan

Israel
Israel
is considered the most advanced country in Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
and the Middle East
Middle East
in economic and industrial development.[492][493] Israel's quality university education and the establishment of a highly motivated and educated populace is largely responsible for spurring the country's high technology boom and rapid economic development.[330] In 2010, it joined the OECD.[48][494] The country is ranked 16th in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report[495] and 54th on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index.[496] It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world after the United States,[497] and the third-largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies after the U.S. and China.[498] Israel
Israel
was also ranked 4th in the world by share of people in high-skilled employment.[499]

Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Stock Exchange. Its building is optimized for computer trading, with systems located in an underground bunker to keep the exchange active during emergencies.[500]

Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel
Israel
largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Imports to Israel, totaling $57.9 billion in 2016, include raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, and consumer goods.[6] Leading exports include machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, and textiles and apparel; in 2016, Israeli exports reached $51.61 billion.[6] The Bank of Israel
Bank of Israel
holds $97.22 billion of foreign-exchange reserves.[6] Since the 1970s, Israel
Israel
has received military aid from the United States, as well as economic assistance in the form of loan guarantees, which now account for roughly half of Israel's external debt. Israel
Israel
has one of the lowest external debts in the developed world, and is a lender in terms of net external debt (assets vs. liabilities abroad), which in 2015[update] stood at a surplus of $69 billion.[501] Israel
Israel
has an impressive record for creating profit driven technologies making the country a top choice for many business leaders and high technology industry giants. Intel[502] and Microsoft[503] built their first overseas research and development facilities in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Google, Apple, HP, Cisco Systems, Facebook
Facebook
and Motorola have opened R&D centres in the country. In 2007, American investor Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway
bought an Israeli company, Iscar, its first acquisition outside the United States, for $4 billion.[504] Days of working time in Israel
Israel
are Sunday through Thursday (for a five-day workweek), or Friday (for a six-day workweek). In observance of Shabbat, in places where Friday is a work day and the majority of population is Jewish, Friday is a "short day", usually lasting till 14:00 in the winter, or 16:00 in the summer. Several proposals have been raised to adjust the work week with the majority of the world, and make Sunday a non-working day, while extending working time of other days or replacing Friday with Sunday as a work day.[505] Science and technology Main articles: Science and technology in Israel
Science and technology in Israel
and List of Israeli inventions and discoveries

Matam high-tech park in Haifa

Israel's development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley.[506][507] Israel
Israel
ranks 10th in the Bloomberg Innovation Index,[508] and is 2nd in the world in expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP.[509] Israel
Israel
boasts 140 scientists, technicians, and engineers per 10,000 employees, the highest number in the world (in comparison, the same is 85 for the U.S.).[510][511][512] Israel
Israel
has produced six Nobel Prize-winning scientists since 2004[513] and has been frequently ranked as one of the countries with the highest ratios of scientific papers per capita in the world.[514][515][516] Israel
Israel
has led the world in stem-cell research papers per capita since 2000.[517] Israeli universities are ranked among the top 50 world universities in computer science ( Technion
Technion
and Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
University), mathematics (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and chemistry (Weizmann Institute of Science).[355] In 2012 Israel
Israel
was ranked ninth in the world by the Futron's Space Competitiveness Index.[518] The Israel Space Agency
Israel Space Agency
coordinates all Israeli space research programs with scientific and commercial goals, and have indigenously designed and built at least 13 commercial, research and spy satellites.[519] Some of Israel's satellites are ranked among the world's most advanced space systems.[520] Shavit
Shavit
is a space launch vehicle produced by Israel
Israel
to launch small satellites into low Earth orbit.[521] It was first launched in 1988, making Israel
Israel
the eighth nation to have a space launch capability. In 2003, Ilan Ramon
Ilan Ramon
became Israel's first astronaut, serving as payload specialist of STS-107, the fatal mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia.[522] The ongoing shortage of water in the country has spurred innovation in water conservation techniques, and a substantial agricultural modernization, drip irrigation, was invented in Israel. Israel
Israel
is also at the technological forefront of desalination and water recycling. The Sorek desalination plant
Sorek desalination plant
is the largest seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facility in the world.[523] By 2014, Israel's desalination programs provided roughly 35% of Israel's drinking water and it is expected to supply 40% by 2015 and 70% by 2050.[524] As of 2015, more than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is artificially produced.[525] The country hosts an annual Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition & Conference (WATEC) that attracts thousands of people from across the world.[526][527] In 2011, Israel's water technology industry was worth around $2 billion a year with annual exports of products and services in the tens of millions of dollars. As a result of innovations in reverse osmosis technology, Israel
Israel
is set to become a net exporter of water in the coming years.[528]

The world's largest solar parabolic dish at the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center.[529]

Israel
Israel
has embraced solar energy; its engineers are on the cutting edge of solar energy technology[530] and its solar companies work on projects around the world.[531][532] Over 90% of Israeli homes use solar energy for hot water, the highest per capita in the world.[279][533] According to government figures, the country saves 8% of its electricity consumption per year because of its solar energy use in heating.[534] The high annual incident solar irradiance at its geographic latitude creates ideal conditions for what is an internationally renowned solar research and development industry in the Negev
Negev
Desert.[530][531][532] Israel
Israel
had a modern electric car infrastructure involving a countrywide network of charging stations to facilitate the charging and exchange of car batteries. It was thought that this would have lowered Israel's oil dependency and lowered the fuel costs of hundreds of Israel's motorists that use cars powered only by electric batteries.[535][536][537] The Israeli model was being studied by several countries and being implemented in Denmark
Denmark
and Australia.[538] However, Israel's trailblazing electric car company Better Place shut down in 2013.[539] Transportation Main article: Transport in Israel

Reception hall at Ben Gurion Airport

Israel
Israel
has 19,224 kilometres (11,945 mi) of paved roads,[540] and 3 million motor vehicles.[541] The number of motor vehicles per 1,000 persons is 365, relatively low with respect to developed countries.[541] Israel
Israel
has 5,715 buses on scheduled routes,[542] operated by several carriers, the largest of which is Egged, serving most of the country. Railways stretch across 1,277 kilometres (793 mi) and are operated solely by government-owned Israel Railways.[543] Following major investments beginning in the early to mid-1990s, the number of train passengers per year has grown from 2.5 million in 1990, to 53 million in 2015; railways are also transporting 7.5 million tons of cargo, per year.[543] Israel
Israel
is served by two international airports, Ben Gurion Airport, the country's main hub for international air travel near Tel Aviv, and Ovda Airport, which serves the southernmost port city of Eilat. There are several small domestic airports as well.[544] Ben Gurion, Israel's largest airport, handled over 15 million passengers in 2015.[545] On the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast, the Port of Haifa
Haifa
is the country's oldest and largest port, while Ashdod
Ashdod
Port is one of the few deep water ports in the world built on the open sea.[544] In addition to these, the smaller Port of Eilat
Port of Eilat
is situated on the Red Sea, and is used mainly for trading with Far East countries.[544] Tourism Main article: Tourism in Israel

Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek
resort on the shore of the Dead Sea

Tourism, especially religious tourism, is an important industry in Israel, with the country's temperate climate, beaches, archaeological, other historical and biblical sites, and unique geography also drawing tourists. Israel's security problems have taken their toll on the industry, but the number of incoming tourists is on the rebound.[546] In 2017, a record of 3.6 million tourists visited Israel, yielding a 25 percent growth since 2016 and contributed NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy.[547][548][549][550] Energy Main article: Energy in Israel In 2009, a natural gas reserve, Tamar was found near the coast of Israel. A second natural gas reserve, Leviathan, was discovered in 2010.[551] Ketura Sun
Ketura Sun
is Israel’s first commercial solar field. Built in early 2011 by the Arava Power Company
Arava Power Company
on Kibbutz
Kibbutz
Ketura, Ketura Sun
Ketura Sun
covers twenty acres and is expected to produce green energy amounting to 4.95 megawatts. The field consists of 18,500 photovoltaic panels made by Suntech, which will produce about 9 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year.[552] In the next twenty years, the field will spare the production of some 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.[553] The field was inaugurated on June 15, 2011.[554] On May 22, 2012 Arava Power Company
Arava Power Company
announced that it had reached financial close on an additional 58.5 MW for 8 projects to be built in the Arava and the Negev
Negev
valued at 780 million NIS or approximately $204 million.[555] Culture Main article: Culture of Israel Israel's diverse culture stems from the diversity of its population: Jews
Jews
from diaspora communities around the world have brought their cultural and religious traditions back with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs.[556] Israel
Israel
is the only country in the world where life revolves around the Hebrew calendar. Work and school holidays are determined by the Jewish holidays, and the official day of rest is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.[557] Israel's substantial Arab minority has also left its imprint on Israeli culture in such spheres as architecture,[558] music,[559] and cuisine.[560] Literature Main article: Israeli literature

Shmuel Yosef Agnon, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Israeli literature
Israeli literature
is primarily poetry and prose written in Hebrew, as part of the renaissance of Hebrew as a spoken language since the mid-19th century, although a small body of literature is published in other languages, such as English. By law, two copies of all printed matter published in Israel
Israel
must be deposited in the National Library of Israel
Israel
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2001, the law was amended to include audio and video recordings, and other non-print media.[561] In 2015, 85 percent of the 7,843 books transferred to the library were in Hebrew.[562] The Hebrew Book Week
Hebrew Book Week
is held each June and features book fairs, public readings, and appearances by Israeli authors around the country. During the week, Israel's top literary award, the Sapir Prize, is presented.[citation needed] In 1966, Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
shared the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
with German Jewish author Nelly Sachs.[563] Leading Israeli poets have been Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, and Rachel Bluwstein. Internationally famous contemporary Israeli novelists include Amos Oz, Etgar Keret
Etgar Keret
and David Grossman. The Israeli-Arab satirist Sayed Kashua (who writes in Hebrew) is also internationally known.[citation needed] Israel
Israel
has also been the home of two leading Palestinian poets and writers: Emile Habibi, whose novel The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist, and other writings, won him the Israel
Israel
prize for Arabic literature; and Mahmoud Darwish, considered by many to be "the Palestinian national poet."[564] Darwish was born and raised in northern Israel, but lived his adult life abroad after joining the Palestine Liberation Organization.[citation needed] Music and dance Main articles: Music of Israel
Music of Israel
and Dance in Israel

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Zubin Mehta

Israeli music contains musical influences from all over the world; Mizrahi and Sephardic music, Hasidic melodies, Greek music, jazz, and pop rock are all part of the music scene.[565][566] Among Israel's world-renowned[567][568] orchestras is the Israel
Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra, which has been in operation for over seventy years and today performs more than two hundred concerts each year.[569] Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Ofra Haza
Ofra Haza
are among the internationally acclaimed musicians born in Israel.[citation needed] Israel
Israel
has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest
nearly every year since 1973, winning the competition three times and hosting it twice.[570][571] Eilat
Eilat
has hosted its own international music festival, the Red Sea
Red Sea
Jazz
Jazz
Festival, every summer since 1987.[572] Israel
Israel
is home to many Palestinian musicians, including an oud group Le Trio Joubran
Le Trio Joubran
and singer Amal Murkus. The Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Academy of Music and Dance has an advanced degree program in Arabic music, headed by oud virtuoso Taiseer Elias.[citation needed]

Celebrated Israeli ballet dancers Valery and Galina Panov, who founded the Ballet Panov, in Ashdod[573]

The nation's canonical folk songs, known as "Songs of the Land of Israel," deal with the experiences of the pioneers in building the Jewish homeland.[574] The Hora circle dance introduced by early Jewish settlers was originally popular in the kibbutzim and outlying communities. It became a symbol of the Zionist reconstruction and of the ability to experience joy amidst austerity. It now plays a significant role in modern Israeli folk dancing
Israeli folk dancing
and is regularly performed at weddings and other celebrations, and in group dances throughout Israel.[citation needed] Modern dance in Israel
Israel
is a flourishing field, and several Israeli choreographers such as Ohad Naharin and Barak Marshall and many others, are considered[by whom?] to be among the most versatile and original international creators working today. Famous Israeli companies include the Batsheva Dance Company and the Kibbutz
Kibbutz
Contemporary Dance Company.[citation needed] Cinema and theatre Main article: Cinema of Israel Ten Israeli films have been final nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
since the establishment of Israel. The 2009 movie Ajami was the third consecutive nomination of an Israeli film.[575] Palestinian Israeli filmmakers have made a number of films dealing with the Arab- Israel
Israel
conflict and the status of Palestinians within Israel, such as Mohammed Bakri's 2002 film Jenin, Jenin
Jenin, Jenin
and The Syrian Bride.[citation needed] Continuing the strong theatrical traditions of the Yiddish theatre
Yiddish theatre
in Eastern Europe, Israel
Israel
maintains a vibrant theatre scene. Founded in 1918, Habima Theatre
Habima Theatre
in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
is Israel's oldest repertory theater company and national theater.[576] Media Main article: Media of Israel The 2017 Freedom of the Press annual report by Freedom House
Freedom House
ranked Israel
Israel
as the Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa's most free country, and 64th globally.[577] In the 2017 Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
by Reporters Without Borders, Israel
Israel
(including " Israel
Israel
extraterritorial" since 2013 ranking)[578] was placed 91st of 180 countries, first in the Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa region.[579] Museums For a more comprehensive list, see List of Israeli museums.

Shrine of the Book, repository of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
in Jerusalem

The Israel Museum
Israel Museum
in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is one of Israel's most important cultural institutions[580] and houses the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
Scrolls,[581] along with an extensive collection of Judaica
Judaica
and European art.[580] Israel's national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, is the world central archive of Holocaust-related information.[582] Beit Hatfutsot
Beit Hatfutsot
("The Diaspora House"), on the campus of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
University, is an interactive museum devoted to the history of Jewish communities around the world.[583] Apart from the major museums in large cities, there are high-quality artspaces in many towns and kibbutzim. Mishkan LeOmanut in kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad is the largest art museum in the north of the country.[584] Israel
Israel
has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.[585] Several Israeli museums are devoted to Islamic culture, including the Rockefeller Museum
Rockefeller Museum
and the L. A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art, both in Jerusalem. The Rockefeller specializes in archaeological remains from the Ottoman and other periods of Middle East
Middle East
history. It is also the home of the first hominid fossil skull found in Western Asia called Galilee
Galilee
Man.[586] A cast of the skull is on display at the Israel
Israel
Museum.[587] Cuisine Main article: Israeli cuisine

A meal including falafel, hummus, French fries
French fries
and Israeli salad

Israeli cuisine
Israeli cuisine
includes local dishes as well as Jewish cuisine brought to the country by immigrants from the diaspora. Since the establishment of the state in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli fusion cuisine has developed.[588] Israeli cuisine has adopted, and continues to adapt, elements of the Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi styles of cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally eaten in the Levantine, Arab, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean
Mediterranean
cuisines, such as falafel, hummus, shakshouka, couscous, and za'atar. Schnitzel, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, rice and salad are also common in Israel.[citation needed] Roughly half of the Israeli-Jewish population attests to keeping kosher at home.[589][590] Kosher
Kosher
restaurants, though rare in the 1960s, make up around 25% of the total as of 2015[update], perhaps reflecting the largely secular values of those who dine out.[588] Hotel restaurants are much more likely to serve kosher food.[588] The non-kosher retail market was traditionally sparse, but grew rapidly and considerably following the influx of immigrants from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s.[591] Together with non-kosher fish, rabbits and ostriches, pork—often called "white meat" in Israel[591]—is produced and consumed, though it is forbidden by both Judaism
Judaism
and Islam.[592] Sports Main article: Sport in Israel

Teddy Stadium
Teddy Stadium
of Jerusalem

The most popular spectator sports in Israel
Israel
are association football and basketball.[593] The Israeli Premier League
Israeli Premier League
is the country's premier football league, and the Israeli Basketball
Basketball
Premier League is the premier basketball league.[594] Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Beitar Jerusalem
Jerusalem
are the largest football clubs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa
Haifa
and Hapoel Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
have competed in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
and Hapoel Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
reached the UEFA
UEFA
Cup quarter-finals. Israel
Israel
hosted and won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup; in 1970 the Israel national football team
Israel national football team
qualified for the FIFA World Cup, the only time it participated in the World Cup. The 1974 Asian Games held in Tehran, were the last Asian Games in which Israel participated, and was plagued by the Arab countries which refused to compete with Israel. Israel
Israel
was excluded from the 1978 Asian Games
1978 Asian Games
and since then has not competed in Asian sport events.[595] In 1994, UEFA agreed to admit Israel
Israel
and its soccer teams now compete in Europe.[citation needed] Maccabi Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
B.C. has won the European championship in basketball six times.[596] In 2016, the country was chosen as a host for the EuroBasket 2017.

Boris Gelfand, chess Grandmaster

Chess
Chess
is a leading sport in Israel
Israel
and is enjoyed by people of all ages. There are many Israeli grandmasters and Israeli chess players have won a number of youth world championships.[597] Israel
Israel
stages an annual international championship and hosted the World Team Chess Championship in 2005. The Ministry of Education and the World Chess Federation agreed upon a project of teaching chess within Israeli schools, and it has been introduced into the curriculum of some schools.[598] The city of Beersheba
Beersheba
has become a national chess center, with the game being taught in the city's kindergartens. Owing partly to Soviet immigration, it is home to the largest number of chess grandmasters of any city in the world.[599][600] The Israeli chess team won the silver medal at the 2008 Chess
Chess
Olympiad[601] and the bronze, coming in third among 148 teams, at the 2010 Olympiad. Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand
Boris Gelfand
won the Chess
Chess
World Cup 2009[602] and the 2011 Candidates Tournament for the right to challenge the world champion. He only lost the World Chess
Chess
Championship 2012 to reigning world champion Anand after a speed-chess tie breaker. Israel
Israel
has won nine Olympic medals since its first win in 1992, including a gold medal in windsurfing at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[603] Israel
Israel
has won over 100 gold medals in the Paralympic Games and is ranked 20th in the all-time medal count. The 1968 Summer Paralympics were hosted by Israel.[604] The Maccabiah Games, an Olympic-style event for Jewish and Israeli athletes, was inaugurated in the 1930s, and has been held every four years since then. Israeli tennis champion Shahar Pe'er
Shahar Pe'er
ranked 11th in the world on 31 January 2011.[605] Krav Maga, a martial art developed by Jewish ghetto defenders during the struggle against fascism in Europe, is used by the Israeli security forces
Israeli security forces
and police. Its effectiveness and practical approach to self-defense, have won it widespread admiration and adherence around the world.[606] See also

Israel
Israel
portal

Index of Israel-related articles Outline of Israel Israel
Israel
– book

Notes

^ Recognition by other UN member states: the United States,[1] the Czech Republic,[2] Guatemala,[3] and Vanuatu.[4] ^ The Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law states that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel" and the city serves as the seat of the government, home to the President's residence, government offices, supreme court, and parliament. United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 478 (20 August 1980; 14–0, U.S. abstaining) declared the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law "null and void" and called on member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem. The United Nations
United Nations
and all member nations refuse to accept the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law (see Kellerman 1993, p. 140) and maintain their embassies in other cities such as Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, and Herzliya
Herzliya
(see the CIA Factbook and Map of Israel). The U.S. Congress subsequently adopted the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Embassy Act, which said that the U.S. embassy should be relocated to Jerusalem and that it should be recognized as the capital of Israel. However, the US Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the provisions of the act "invade exclusive presidential authorities in the field of foreign affairs and are unconstitutional". Since passage of the act, all presidents serving in office have determined that moving forward with the relocation would be detrimental to U.S. national security concerns and opted to issue waivers suspending any action on this front. The Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
sees East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The city's final status awaits future negotiations between Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian Authority (see "Negotiating Jerusalem," Palestine– Israel
Israel
Journal). See Positions on Jerusalem
Jerusalem
for more information. ^ a b The majority of the international community (including the UN General Assembly, the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council, the European Union, the International Criminal Court, and the vast majority of human rights organizations) considers Israel
Israel
to be occupying Gaza, the West Bank
West Bank
and East Jerusalem. Gaza is still considered to be "occupied" by the United Nations, international human rights organisations, and the majority of governments and legal commentators, despite the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza, due to various forms of ongoing military and economic control.[42] The government of Israel
Israel
and some supporters have, at times, disputed this position of the international community. For more details of this terminology dispute, including with respect to the current status of the Gaza Strip, see International views on the Israeli-occupied territories and Status of territories captured by Israel. For an explanation of the differences between an annexed but disputed territory (e.g., Tibet) and a militarily occupied territory, please see the article Military occupation. ^ (פלשתינה (א״י in Hebrew (translation: Palestine (Eretz Israel))

References

^ Trump Recognizes Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as Israel’s Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move, The New York Times, 6 December 2017 ^ " Czech Republic
Czech Republic
announces it recognizes West Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as Israel's capital", Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post, 6 December 2017. Text from the Foreign Ministry statement: “The Czech Republic
Czech Republic
currently, before the peace between Israel
Israel
and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem
Jerusalem
to be in fact the capital of Israel
Israel
in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967.” The Ministry also said that it would only consider relocating its embassy based on "results of negotiations." ^ " Guatemala
Guatemala
se suma a EEUU y también trasladará su embajada en Israel
Israel
a Jerusalén" (" Guatemala
Guatemala
joins US, will also move embassy to Jerusalem"), Infobae, 24 December 2017. (in Spanish) Guatemala's embassy was located in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
until the 1980s, when it was moved to Tel Aviv. ^ Island nation Vanuatu
Vanuatu
recognizes Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as Israel's capital ^ a b c "Latest Population Statistics for Israel". Jewish Virtual Library. American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Israel". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 5 January 2017.  ^ a b "Home page". Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 20 February 2017.  ^ Population Census 2008 (PDF) (Report). Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2016.  ^ a b "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". International Monetary Fund. October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.  ^ "Distribution of family income – Gini index". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 21 August 2017.  ^ a b Human Development Index
Human Development Index
and its components (Report). United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 22 June 2017.  ^ "Palestinian Territories". State.gov. 22 April 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2012.  ^ Skolnik 2007, pp. 132–232 ^ "GaWC – The World According to GaWC 2008". Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Retrieved 1 March 2009.  ^ The Controversial Sovereignty over the City of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(June 22, 2015, The National Catholic Reporter) "No U.S. president has ever officially acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem (...) The refusal to recognize Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as Israeli territory is a near universal policy among Western nations." ^ "UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended the creation of an international zonea, or corpus separatum, in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
to be administered by the UN for a 10-year period, after which there would be referendum to determine its future. This approach applies equally to West and East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and is not affected by the occupation of East jerusalem in 1967. To a large extent it is this approach that still guides the diplomatic behaviour of states and thus has greater force in international law" (Susan M. Akram, Michael Dumper, Michael Lynk, Iain Scobbie (eds.), International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace, Routledge, 2010 p.119. ) ^ Jerusalem: Opposition to mooted Trump Israel
Israel
announcement grows"Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem
Jerusalem
has never been recognised internationally" ^ Whither Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(Lapidot) page 17: "Israeli control in west Jerusalem
Jerusalem
since 1948 was illegal and most states have not recognized its sovereignty there" ^ V. Kattan: "Competing claims, Contested City: The Sovereignty of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
under International Law" (page 2) : "No state recognizes Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in neither its eastern nor western half" ^ a b c d e Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2001). The Bible unearthed : archaeology's new vision of ancient Israel
Israel
and the origin of its stories (1st Touchstone ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-86912-8.  ^ a b The Pitcher Is Broken: Memorial Essays for Gosta W. Ahlstrom, Steven W. Holloway, Lowell K. Handy, Continuum, 1 May 1995 Quote: "For Israel, the description of the battle of Qarqar in the Kurkh Monolith of Shalmaneser III (mid-ninth century) and for Judah, a Tiglath-pileser III text mentioning (Jeho-) Ahaz of Judah (IIR67 = K. 3751), dated 734-733, are the earliest published to date." ^ a b Broshi, Maguen (2001). Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 174. ISBN 1-84127-201-9.  ^ a b "British Museum – Cuneiform tablet with part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605–594 BCE)". Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.  ^ Jon L. Berquist (2007). Approaching Yehud: New Approaches to the Study of the Persian Period. Society of Biblical Lit. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-1-58983-145-2.  ^ a b c Peter Fibiger Bang; Walter Scheidel (31 January 2013). The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean. OUP USA. pp. 184–187. ISBN 978-0-19-518831-8.  ^ Abraham Malamat (1976). A History of the Jewish People. Harvard University Press. pp. 223–239. ISBN 978-0-674-39731-6.  ^ Yohanan Aharoni (15 September 2006). The Jewish People: An Illustrated History. A&C Black. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-0-8264-1886-9.  ^ Erwin Fahlbusch; Geoffrey William Bromiley (2005). The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-8028-2416-5.  ^ a b "Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine". United Nations. 29 November 1947. Retrieved 21 March 2017.  ^ a b Morris 2008, p. 66: at 1946 "The League demanded independence for Palestine as a "unitary" state, with an Arab majority and minority rights for the Jews.", p. 67: at 1947 "The League's Political Committee met in Sofar, Lebanon, on 16–19 September, and urged the Palestine Arabs
Arabs
to fight partition, which it called "aggression," "without mercy." The League promised them, in line with Bludan, assistance "in manpower, money and equipment" should the United Nations
United Nations
endorse partition.", p. 72: at December 1947 "The League vowed, in very general language, "to try to stymie the partition plan and prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine."" ^ a b Morris 2008, p. 75: "The night of 29–30 November passed in the Yishuv’s settlements in noisy public rejoicing. Most had sat glued to their radio sets broadcasting live from Flushing Meadow. A collective cry of joy went up when the two-thirds mark was achieved: a state had been sanctioned by the international community." ^ a b c Morris 2008, p. 396: "The immediate trigger of the 1948 War was the November 1947 UN partition resolution. The Zionist movement, except for its fringes, accepted the proposal.", "The Arab war aim, in both stages of the hostilities, was, at a minimum, to abort the emergence of a Jewish state or to destroy it at inception. The Arab states hoped to accomplish this by conquering all or large parts of the territory allotted to the Jews
Jews
by the United Nations. And some Arab leaders spoke of driving the Jews
Jews
into the sea and ridding Palestine "of the Zionist plague." The struggle, as the Arabs
Arabs
saw it, was about the fate of Palestine/ the Land of Israel, all of it, not over this or that part of the country. But, in public, official Arab spokesmen often said that the aim of the May 1948 invasion was to "save" Palestine or "save the Palestinians," definitions more agreeable to Western ears." ^ a b "Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 14 May 1948. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.  ^ a b Gilbert 2005, p. 1 ^ http://opil.ouplaw.com/page/israel-gaza-debate-map ^ http://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law:epil/9780199231690/law-9780199231690-e1301 ^ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-016-0070-1 ^ "The status of Jerusalem" (PDF). The Question of Palestine & the United Nations. United Nations
United Nations
Department of Public Information. East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
has been considered, by both the General Assembly and the Security Council, as part of the occupied Palestinian territory.  ^ "Analysis: Kadima's big plans". BBC News. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2010.  ^ Kessner, BC (2 April 2006). "Israel's Hard-Learned Lessons". Homeland Security Today. Retrieved 26 April 2012.  ^ Kumaraswamy, P. R. (5 June 2002). "The Legacy of Undefined Borders". Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Notes. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  ^

Sanger, Andrew (2011). M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; Tim McCormack, eds. "The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla". Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 2010. Springer Science & Business Media. 13: 429. doi:10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14. ISBN 9789067048118. Israel
Israel
claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a Stale nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel
Israel
dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the territory. However the Plan also provided that Israel
Israel
will guard and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border. and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will. Israel
Israel
continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in and out of the territory. Egypt
Egypt
controls one of Gaza's land crossings. Troops from the Israeli Defence Force regularly enter pans of the territory and/or deploy missile attacks, drones and sonic bombs into Gaza. Israel
Israel
has declared a no-go buffer zone that stretches deep into Gaza: if Gazans enter this zone they are shot on sight. Gaza is also dependent on israel for inter alia electricity, currency, telephone networks, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave the territory. Israel
Israel
also has sole control of the Palestinian Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since 2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions Israel
Israel
has refused to add people to the Palestinian Population Registry. It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied.  Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst, ed. International Law and the Classification of Conflicts. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 9780199657759. Even after the accession to power of Hamas, Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at will in Gaza.  Gawerc, Michelle (2012). Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships. Lexington Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780739166109. While Israel
Israel
withdrew from the immediate territory, Israel
Israel
still controlled all access to and from Gaza through the border crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. ln addition, Gaza was dependent upon Israel
Israel
for water electricity sewage communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). ln other words, while Israel
Israel
maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended with its unilateral disengagement Palestinians – as well as many human right organizations and international bodies – argued that Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied. 

^ See for example: * Hajjar, Lisa (2005). Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank
West Bank
and Gaza. University of California Press. p. 96. ISBN 0520241940. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is the longest military occupation in modern times.  * Anderson, Perry (July–August 2001). "Editorial: Scurrying Towards Bethlehem". New Left Review. 10. ...longest official military occupation of modern history—currently entering its thirty-fifth year  * Makdisi, Saree (2010). Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393338447. ...longest-lasting military occupation of the modern age  * Kretzmer, David (Spring 2012). "The law of belligerent occupation in the Supreme Court of Israel" (PDF). International Review of the Red Cross. 94 (885): 207–236. doi:10.1017/S1816383112000446. This is probably the longest occupation in modern international relations, and it holds a central place in all literature on the law of belligerent occupation since the early 1970s  * Alexandrowicz, Ra'anan (24 January 2012), The Justice of Occupation, The New York Times, Israel
Israel
is the only modern state that has held territories under military occupation for over four decades  * Weill, Sharon (2014). The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780199685424. Although the basic philosophy behind the law of military occupation is that it is a temporary situation modem occupations have well demonstrated that rien ne dure comme le provisoire A significant number of post-1945 occupations have lasted more than two decades such as the occupations of Namibia by South Africa and of East Timor by Indonesia as well as the ongoing occupations of Northern Cyprus
Cyprus
by Turkey
Turkey
and of Western Sahara by Morocco. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, which is the longest in all occupation's history has already entered its fifth decade.  * Azarova, Valentina. 2017, Israel's Unlawfully Prolonged Occupation: Consequences under an Integrated Legal Framework, European Council on Foreign Affairs Policy Brief: "June 2017 marks 50 years of Israel’s belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, making it the longest occupation in modern history." ^ "Israel". Freedom in the World. Freedom House. 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2012.  ^ Augustus Richard Norton (2001). Civil society in the Middle East. 2 (2001). BRILL. p. 193. ISBN 90-04-10469-0.  ^ Rummel 1997, p. 257. "A current list of liberal democracies includes: Andorra, Argentina, ..., Cyprus, ..., Israel, ..." ^ "Global Survey 2006: Middle East
Middle East
Progress Amid Global Gains in Freedom". Freedom House. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2012.  ^ a b "Israel's accession to the OECD". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 12 August 2012.  ^ a b Education at a Glance: Israel
Israel
(Report). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.  ^ "WHO: Life expectancy in Israel
Israel
among highest in the world". Haaretz. 24 May 2009.  ^ "Popular Opinion". The Palestine Post. Jerusalem. 7 December 1947. p. 1. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012.  ^ "On the Move". Time. New York. 31 May 1948. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2007.  ^ Levine, Robert A. (7 November 2000). "See Israel
Israel
as a Jewish Nation-State, More or Less Democratic". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2011.  ^ William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology
Archaeology
and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 p.186. ^ Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 'Israel,' in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J,Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995 p.907. ^ R. L. Ottley, The Religion of Israel: A Historical Sketch, Cambridge University Press, 2013 pp.31–2 note 5. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 381. ISBN 0-582-05383-8.  entry "Jacob". ^ "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Genesis, 32:28, 35:10). See also Hosea 12:5. ^ Exodus 12:40–41 ^ Exodus 6:16–20 ^ Barton & Bowden 2004, p. 126. "The Merneptah Stele
Merneptah Stele
... is arguably the oldest evidence outside the Bible for the existence of Israel
Israel
as early as the 13th century BCE." ^ Noah Rayman (29 September 2014). "Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters". TIME. Retrieved 5 December 2015.  ^ Tchernov, Eitan (1988). "The Age of ' Ubeidiya
Ubeidiya
Formation (Jordan Valley, Israel) and the Earliest Hominids in the Levant". Paléorient. 14 (2): 63–65. doi:10.3406/paleo.1988.4455. Retrieved 4 January 2017.  ^ Rincon, Paul (14 October 2015). "Fossil teeth place humans in Asia '20,000 years early'". BBC News. Retrieved 4 January 2017.  ^ Bar-Yosef, Ofer (7 December 1998). "The Natufian Culture in the Levant, Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture" (PDF). Evolutionary Anthropology. 6 (5): 159–177. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:5<159::AID-EVAN4>3.0.CO;2-7. Retrieved 4 January 2017.  ^ Dever, William (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It?. Eerdmans. pp. 98–99. ISBN 3-927120-37-5. After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob
Jacob
credible "historical figures" [...] archaeological investigation of Moses
Moses
and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit.  ^ Miller, James Maxwell; Hayes, John Haralson (1986). A History of Ancient Israel
Israel
and Judah. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-21262-X.  ^ Tubb, 1998. pp. 13–14 ^ Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh
Yahweh
and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites
Israelites
were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites
Israelites
and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200–1000 BCE). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites
Israelites
for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002) "The Early History of God: Yahweh
Yahweh
and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" (Eerdman's) ^ Rendsberg, Gary (2008). " Israel
Israel
without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5 ^ Gnuse 1997, pp.28,31[title missing] ^ McNutt 1999, p. 35. ^ Bloch-Smith, Elizabeth (2003). "Israelite Ethnicity in Iron I: Archaeology
Archaeology
Preserves What Is Remembered and What Is Forgotten in Israel's History". Journal of Biblical Literature. 122 (3): 401–425. doi:10.2307/3268384. ISSN 0021-9231. JSTOR 3268384.  ^ Lehman in Vaughn 1992, pp. 156–62.[full citation needed] ^ McNutt 1999, p. 70. ^ Miller 2012, p. 98. ^ McNutt 1999, p. 72. ^ Miller 2012, p. 99. ^ Miller 2012, p. 105. ^ Lipschits, Oded (2014). "The History of Israel
History of Israel
in the Biblical Period". In Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi. The Jewish Study Bible (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199978465.  ^ a b Kuhrt, Amiele (1995). The Ancient Near East. Routledge. p. 438. ISBN 978-0415167628.  ^ a b Wright, Jacob
Jacob
L. (July 2014). "David, King of Judah (Not Israel)". The Bible and Interpretation.  ^ K. L. Noll, Canaan
Canaan
and Israel
Israel
in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion, A&C Black, 2012, rev.ed. pp.137ff. ^ Thomas L. Thompson, Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources, BRILL, 2000 pp. 275–76: 'They are rather a very specific group among the population of Palestine which bears a name that occurs here for the first time that at a much later stage in Palestine's history bears a substantially different signification.' ^ The personal name "Israel" appears much earlier, in material from Ebla. Hasel, Michael G. (1994-01-01). " Israel
Israel
in the Merneptah Stela". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (296): 45–61. doi:10.2307/1357179. JSTOR 1357179. ; Bertman, Stephen (2005-07-14). Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. OUP USA. ISBN 9780195183641.  and Meindert Dijkstra (2010). "Origins of Israel
Israel
between history and ideology". In Becking, Bob; Grabbe, Lester. Between Evidence and Ideology Essays on the History of Ancient Israel
Israel
read at the Joint Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and the Oud
Oud
Testamentisch Werkgezelschap Lincoln, July 2009. Brill. p. 47. ISBN 9789004187375. As a West Semitic personal name it existed long before it became a tribal or a geographical name. This is not without significance, though is it rarely mentioned. We learn of a maryanu named ysr"il (*Yi¡sr—a"ilu) from Ugarit living in the same period, but the name was already used a thousand years before in Ebla. The word Israel
Israel
originated as a West Semitic personal name. One of the many names that developed into the name of the ancestor of a clan, of a tribe and finally of a people and a nation.  ^ Jonathan M Golden,Ancient Canaan
Canaan
and Israel: An Introduction, OUP USA, 2009 pp. 3–4. ^ Lemche, Niels Peter (1998). The Israelites
Israelites
in History and Tradition. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780664227272.  ^ See http://www.livius.org/cg-cm/chronicles/abc5/jerusalem.html reverse side, line 12. ^ a b " Second Temple
Second Temple
Period (538 BCE. to 70 CE) Persian Rule". Biu.ac.il. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ Harper's Bible Dictionary, ed. by Achtemeier, etc., Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985, p.103 ^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2004). A History of the Jews
Jews
and Judaism
Judaism
in the Second Temple
Second Temple
Period: Yehud – A History of the Persian Province of Judah v. 1. T & T Clark. p. 355. ISBN 978-0567089984.  ^ Oppenheimer, A'haron and Oppenheimer, Nili. Between Rome and Babylon: Studies in Jewish Leadership and Society. Mohr Siebeck, 2005, p. 2. ^ Cohn-Sherbok, Dan (1996). Atlas of Jewish History. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-415-08800-8.  ^ Lehmann, Clayton Miles (18 January 2007). "Palestine". Encyclopedia of the Roman Provinces. University of South Dakota. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.  ^ Morçöl 2006, p. 304 ^ Judaism
Judaism
in late antiquity, Jacob
Jacob
Neusner, Bertold Spuler, Hady R Idris, BRILL, 2001, p. 155 ^ Gil, Moshe (1997). A History of Palestine, 634–1099. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-59984-9.  ^ Allan D. Cooper (2009). The geography of genocide. University Press of America. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7618-4097-8. Retrieved 1 January 2012.  ^ Carmel, Alex. The History of Haifa
Haifa
Under Turkish Rule. Haifa: Pardes, 2002 (ISBN 965-7171-05-9), pp. 16–17 ^ Moshe Gil (1992). A History of Palestine, 634–1099. Cambridge University Press. p. 829. ISBN 9780521404372. Retrieved 17 May 2015. Haifa
Haifa
was taken [...] in August 1100 or June 1101, according to Muslim sources which contradict one another. Albert of Aachen does not mention the date in a clear manner either. From what he says, it appears that it was mainly the Jewish inhabitants of the city who defended the fortress of Haifa. In his rather strange Latin style, he mentions that there was a Jewish population in Haifa, and that they fought bravely within the walls of the city. He explains that the Jews there were protected people of the Muslims (the Fatimids). They fought side by side with units of the Fatimid army, striking back at Tancred's army from above the walls of the citadel (... Judaei civis comixtis Sarracenorum turmis) until the Crusaders
Crusaders
overcame them and they were forced to abandon the walls. The Muslims and the Jews
Jews
then managed to escape from the fortress with their lives, while the rest of the population fled the city en masse. Whoever remained was slaughtered, and huge quantities of spoils were taken. [...] [Note #3: Albert of Aachen (Albericus, Albertus Aquensis), Historia Hierosolymitanae Expeditionis, in: RHC (Occ.), IV. p. 523; etc.]  ^ Irven M. Resnick (1 June 2012). Marks of Distinctions: Christian Perceptions of Jews
Jews
in the High Middle Ages. CUA Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-8132-1969-1. citizens of the Jewish race, who lived in the city by the favour and consent of the king of Egypt
Egypt
in return for payment of tribute, got on the walls bearing arms and put up a very stubborn defence, until the Christians, weighed down by various blows over the period of two weeks, absolutely despaired and held back their hands from any attack. [...] the Jewish citizens, mixed with Saracen troops, at once fought back manfully,... and counter-attacked. [Albert of Aachen, Historia Ierosolimitana 7.23, ed. and transl. Susan B. Edgington (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), 516 and 521.]  ^ Joshua Prawer. The Jews
Jews
of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. pp. 34–40.  ^ Sefer HaCharedim Mitzvat Tshuva Chapter 3. Maimonides
Maimonides
established a yearly holiday for himself and his sons, 6 Cheshvan, commemorating the day he went up to pray on the Temple Mount, and another, 9 Cheshvan, commemorating the day he merited to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. ^ Abraham P. Bloch (1987). "Sultan Saladin
Saladin
Opens Jerusalem
Jerusalem
to Jews". One a day: an anthology of Jewish historical anniversaries for every day of the year. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-88125-108-1. Retrieved 26 December 2011.  ^ Benzion Dinur (1974). "From Bar Kochba's Revolt to the Turkish Conquest". In David Ben-Gurion. The Jews
Jews
in their Land. Aldus Books. p. 217. Retrieved 26 December 2011.  ^ Geoffrey Hindley (28 February 2007). Saladin: hero of Islam. Pen & Sword Military. p. xiii. ISBN 978-1-84415-499-9. Retrieved 26 December 2011.  ^ Alex Carmel; Peter Schäfer; Yossi Ben-Artzi (1990). The Jewish settlement in Palestine, 634–1881. L. Reichert. p. 31. ISBN 978-3-88226-479-1. Retrieved 21 December 2011.  ^ Samson ben Abraham of Sens, Jewish Encyclopedia. ^ Moshe Lichtman (September 2006). Eretz Yisrael in the Parshah: The Centrality of the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
in the Torah. Devora Publishing. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-932687-70-5. Retrieved 23 December 2011.  ^ a b Kramer, Gudrun (2008). A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel. Princeton University Press. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-691-11897-0.  ^ M. Sharon (2010). "Al Khalil". Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition. Koninklijke Brill NV.  ^ International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East
Middle East
and Africa by Trudy Ring, Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, pp. 336–339 ^ Dan Bahat
Dan Bahat
(1976). Twenty centuries of Jewish life in the Holy Land: the forgotten generations. Israel
Israel
Economist. p. 48. Retrieved 23 December 2011.  ^ Fannie Fern Andrews (February 1976). The Holy Land
Holy Land
under mandate. Hyperion Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-88355-304-6. Retrieved 25 December 2011.  ^ "The Covenant of the League of Nations". Article 22. Retrieved 18 October 2012.  ^ "Mandate for Palestine," Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 11, p. 862, Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, 1972 ^ Rosenzweig 1997, p. 1 "Zionism, the urge of the Jewish people to return to Palestine, is almost as ancient as the Jewish diaspora itself. Some Talmudic statements ... Almost a millennium later, the poet and philosopher Yehuda Halevi
Yehuda Halevi
... In the 19th century ..." ^ a b Geoffrey Wigoder, G.G. (ed.). "Return to Zion". The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
Judaism
(via Answers.Com). The Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Publishing House. Retrieved 8 March 2010. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "An invention called 'the Jewish people'". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2010.  ^ Gilbert 2005, p. 2. " Jews
Jews
sought a new homeland here after their expulsions from Spain
Spain
(1492) ..." ^ Eisen, Yosef (2004). Miraculous journey: a complete history of the Jewish people
Jewish people
from creation to the present. Targum Press. p. 700. ISBN 1-56871-323-1.  ^ Morgenstern, Arie (2006). Hastening redemption: Messianism and the resettlement of the land of Israel. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-19-530578-4.  ^ "Jewish and Non-Jewish Population of Palestine-Israel (1517–2004)". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 29 March 2010.  ^ Barnai, Jacob
Jacob
(1992). The Jews
Jews
in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul committee of Officials for Palestine. University Alabama Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-8173-0572-7.  ^ a b c d "Immigration to Israel". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  The source provides information on the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Aliyot in their respective articles. The White Paper leading to Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet is discussed " Aliyah
Aliyah
During World War II
World War II
and its Aftermath".  ^ Kornberg 1993 "How did Theodor Herzl, an assimilated German nationalist in the 1880s, suddenly in the 1890s become the founder of Zionism?" ^ Herzl 1946, p. 11 ^ "Chapter One". The Jewish Agency
Jewish Agency
for Israel1. Retrieved 2015-09-21.  ^ Stein 2003, p. 88. "As with the First Aliyah, most Second Aliyah
Aliyah
migrants were non-Zionist orthodox Jews ..." ^ Romano 2003, p. 30 ^ Macintyre, Donald (26 May 2005). "The birth of modern Israel: A scrap of paper that changed history". The Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2012.  ^ Yapp, M.E. (1987). The Making of the Modern Near East 1792–1923. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 290. ISBN 0-582-49380-3.  ^ Schechtman, Joseph B. (2007). "Jewish Legion". Encyclopaedia Judaica. 11. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 304. Retrieved 6 August 2014.  ^ Scharfstein 1996, p. 269. "During the First and Second Aliyot, there were many Arab attacks against Jewish settlements ... In 1920, Hashomer
Hashomer
was disbanded and Haganah
Haganah
("The Defense") was established." ^ "League of Nations: The Mandate for Palestine, July 24, 1922". Modern History Sourcebook. Fordham University. 24 July 1922. Retrieved 27 August 2007.  ^ Shaw, J. V. W. (January 1991) [1946]. "Chapter VI: Population". A Survey of Palestine. Volume I: Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry (Reprint ed.). Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-88728-213-3. OCLC 22345421. Lay summary.  ^ "Report to the League of Nations
League of Nations
on Palestine and Transjordan, 1937". British Government. 1937. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.  ^ Walter Laqueur (2009-07-01). A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307530851. Retrieved 2015-10-15.  ^ Hughes, M (2009). "The banality of brutality: British armed forces and the repression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–39" (PDF). English Historical Review. CXXIV (507): 314–354. doi:10.1093/ehr/cep002. Archived from the original on 21 February 2016. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ Khalidi, Walid (1987). From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 978-0-88728-155-6 ^ "The Population of Palestine Prior to 1948". MidEastWeb. Retrieved 19 March 2012.  ^ Fraser 2004, p. 27 ^ The Terrorism Ahead: Confronting Transnational Violence in the Twenty-First By Paul J. Smith M.E. Sharpe, 10 Sep 2007 pg 27 ^ Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Harvey W. Kushner, Sage, 2003 p.181 ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
article on the Irgun
Irgun
Zvai Leumi ^ The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism. William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 430 ^ a b c Clarke, Thurston. By Blood and Fire, G. P. Puttnam's Sons, New York, 1981 ^ a b Bethell, Nicholas (1979). The Palestine Triangle. Andre Deutsch.  ^ Hoffman, Bruce (1999). Inside Terrorism. Columbia University Press. pp. 48–52.  ^ "A/RES/106 (S-1)". General Assembly resolution. United Nations. 15 May 1947. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.  ^ "A/364". Special
Special
Committee on Palestine. United Nations. 3 September 1947. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.  ^ "Background Paper No. 47 (ST/DPI/SER.A/47)". United Nations. 20 April 1949. Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2007.  ^ Bregman 2002, pp. 40–41 ^ Gelber, Yoav (2006). Palestine 1948. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-902210-67-4.  ^ Morris 2008, p. 77–78. ^ Tal, David (2003). War in Palestine, 1948: Israeli and Arab Strategy and Diplomacy. Routledge. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-7146-5275-7.  ^ Morris 2008. ^ Clifford, Clark, "Counsel to the President: A Memoir", 1991, p. 20. ^ Jacobs, Frank (7 August 2012). "The Elephant in the Map Room". Borderlines. The New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2012.  ^ Karsh, Efraim (2002). The Arab–Israeli conflict: The Palestine War 1948. Osprey Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-84176-372-9.  ^ Ben-Sasson 1985, p. 1058 ^ Morris 2008, p. 205. ^ Rabinovich, Itamar; Reinharz, Jehuda (2007). Israel
Israel
in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present. Brandeis. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-87451-962-4.  ^ David Tal (24 June 2004). War in Palestine, 1948: Israeli and Arab Strategy and Diplomacy. Routledge. p. 469. ISBN 978-1-135-77513-1. some of the Arab armies invaded Palestine in order to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state, Transjordan...  ^ Morris 2008, p. 187: "A week before the armies marched, Azzam told Kirkbride: "It does not matter how many [ Jews] there are. We will sweep them into the sea." … Ahmed Shukeiry, one of Haj Amin al-Husseini's aides (and, later, the founding chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization), simply described the aim as "the elimination of the Jewish state." … al-Quwwatli told his people: "Our army has entered … we shall win and we shall eradicate Zionism"" ^ Morris 2008, p. 198: "the Jews
Jews
felt that the Arabs
Arabs
aimed to reenact the Holocaust and that they faced certain personal and collective slaughter should they lose" ^ "PDF copy of Cablegram from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: S/745: 15 May 1948". Un.org. 9 September 2002. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2013.  ^ Karsh, Efraim (2002). The Arab–Israeli conflict: The Palestine War 1948. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-372-9.  ^ Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. p. 602. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.  ^ "Dr. Sarah Ozacky-Lazar, Relations between Jews
Jews
and Arabs
Arabs
during Israel's first decade (in Hebrew)".  ^ "Two Hundred and Seventh Plenary Meeting". The United Nations. 11 May 1949. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.  ^ William Roger Louis (1984). The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism. Clarendon Press. p. 579. ISBN 978-0-19-822960-5. The transcript makes it clear that British policy acted as a brake on Jordan." "King Abdullah was personally anxious to come to agreement with Israel", Kirkbride stated, and in fact it was our restraining influence which had so far prevented him from doing so." Knox Helm confirmed that the Israelis hoped to have a settlement with Jordan, and that they now genuinely wished to live peacefully within their frontiers, if only for economic reasons  ^ Lustick 1988, pp. 37–39 ^ " Israel
Israel
(Labor Zionism)". Country Studies. Library of Congress. Retrieved 12 February 2010.  ^ "The Kibbutz
Kibbutz
& Moshav: History & Overview". Jewish Virtual Library. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 17 June 2014.  ^ Anita Shapira (1992). Land and Power. Stanford University Press. pp. 416, 419.  ^ Segev, Tom. 1949: The First Israelis. "The First Million". Trans. Arlen N. Weinstein. New York: The Free Press, 1986. Print. p 105-107 ^ Shulewitz, Malka Hillel (2001). The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands. Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-4764-7.  ^ Laskier, Michael "Egyptian Jewry under the Nasser Regime, 1956–70" pages 573–619 from Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 31, Issue # 3, July 1995 page 579. ^ "Population, by Religion". Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics. 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.  ^ Bard, Mitchell (2003). The Founding of the State of Israel. Greenhaven Press. p. 15.  ^ Hakohen, Devorah (2003). Immigrants in Turmoil: Mass Immigration to Israel
Israel
and Its Repercussions in the 1950s and After. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0-8156-2969-6. ; for ma'abarot population, see p. 269. ^ Clive Jones, Emma Murphy, Israel: Challenges to Identity, Democracy, and the State, Routledge
Routledge
2002 p. 37: "Housing units earmarked for the Oriental Jews
Jews
were often reallocated to European Jewish immigrants; Consigning Oriental Jews
Jews
to the privations of ma'aborot (transit camps) for longer periods." ^ Segev 2007, pp. 155–157 ^ Shindler 2002, pp. 49–50 ^ Kameel B. Nasr (1 December 1996). Arab and Israeli Terrorism: The Causes and Effects of Political Violence, 1936–1993. McFarland. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-7864-3105-2. Fedayeen to attack...almost always against civilians  ^ Gilbert 2005, p. 58 ^ Isaac Alteras (1993). Eisenhower and Israel: U.S.-Israeli Relations, 1953–1960. University Press of Florida. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-0-8130-1205-6. the removal of the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba. The blockade closed Israel's sea lane to East Africa and the Far East, hindering the development of Israel's southern port of Eilat
Eilat
and its hinterland, the Nege. Another important objective of the Israeli war plan was the elimination of the terrorist bases in the Gaza Strip, from which daily fedayeen incursions into Israel
Israel
made life unbearable for its southern population. And last but not least, the concentration of the Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula, armed with the newly acquired weapons from the Soviet bloc, prepared for an attack on Israel. Here, Ben-Gurion believed, was a time bomb that had to be defused before it was too late. Reaching the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
did not figure at all in Israel's war objectives.   ^ Dominic Joseph Caraccilo (January 2011). Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy. ABC-CLIO. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-313-39149-1. The escalation continued with the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
in July 1956. On October 14, Nasser made clear his intent:"I am not solely fighting against Israel
Israel
itself. My task is to deliver the Arab world
Arab world
from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad. Our hatred is very strong. There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel. There is not even the smallest place for negotiations." Less than two weeks later, on October 25, Egypt
Egypt
signed a tripartite agreement with Syria
Syria
and Jordan placing Nasser in command of all three armies. The continued blockade of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
and Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
to Israeli shipping, combined with the increased fedayeen attacks and the bellicosity of recent Arab statements, prompted Israel, with the backing of Britain and France, to attack Egypt
Egypt
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Egypt
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Islam
and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death."...The level of violence against Israelis, soldiers and civilians alike, seemed to be rising inexorably.  ^ "The Jewish Virtual Library, The Sinai-Suez Campaign: Background & Overview". In 1955, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
began to import arms from the Soviet Bloc to build his arsenal for the confrontation with Israel. In the short-term, however, he employed a new tactic to prosecute Egypt's war with Israel. He announced it on August 31, 1955: Egypt
Egypt
has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam
Islam
and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death. These "heroes" were Arab terrorists, or fedayeen, trained and equipped by Egyptian Intelligence to engage in hostile action on the border and infiltrate Israel
Israel
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Egypt
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Egypt
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Jordan
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Navy to devote majority of missile boats to secure offshore drilling rafts". Haaretz.  ^ "Area of Districts, Sub-Districts, Natural Regions and Lakes". Israel
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Valley in the years 31 B.C.E., 363 C.E., 749 C.E., and 1033 C.E. "So roughly, we are talking about an interval of every 400 years. If we follow the patterns of nature, a major quake should be expected any time because almost a whole millennium has passed since the last strong earthquake of 1033." ( Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
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Jerusalem
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Israel
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Mandatory Palestine
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Central Bureau of Statistics. 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.  ^ Silver, Stefan (May 11, 2017). "Israel's educational tradition drives economic growth". Kehlia News Israel.  ^ "Higher Education in Israel". Embassy of Israel
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Post. Retrieved 21 December 2013.  ^ "About Technion". Technion. Retrieved 21 December 2013.  ^ "Israel". Monash University. Retrieved 21 December 2013.  ^ "History of the Library". National Library of Israel. Retrieved 22 August 2014.  ^ a b "Israel". Academic Ranking of World Universities. 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2017.  ^ a b "Field Listing — Executive Branch". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007.  ^ In 1996, direct elections for the prime minister were inaugurated, but the system was declared unsatisfactory and the old one reinstated. See "Israel's election process explained". BBC News. 23 January 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2010.  ^ "The Electoral System in Israel". The Knesset. Retrieved 8 August 2007.  ^ Mazie 2006, p. 34 ^ Charbit, Denis (2014). "Israel's Self-Restrained Secularism from the 1947 Status Quo Letter to the Present". In Berlinerblau, Jacques; Fainberg, Sarah; Nou, Aurora. Secularism on the Edge: Rethinking Church-State Relations in the United States, France, and Israel. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 167–169. ISBN 978-1-137-38115-6. The compromise, therefore, was to choose constructive ambiguity: as surprising as it may seem, there is no law that declares Judaism
Judaism
the official religion of Israel. However, there is no other law that declares Israel's neutrality toward all confessions. Judaism
Judaism
is not recognized as the official religion of the state, and even though the Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy receive their salaries from the state, this fact does not make Israel
Israel
a neutral state. This apparent pluralism cannot dissimulate the fact that Israel
Israel
displays a clear and undoubtedly hierarchical pluralism in religious matters. ... It is important to note that from a multicultural point of view, this self-restrained secularism allows Muslim law to be practiced in Israel
Israel
for personal matters of the Muslim community. As surprising as it seems, if not paradoxical for a state in war, Israel
Israel
is the only Western democratic country in which Sharia
Sharia
enjoys such an official status.  ^ Sharot, Stephen (2007). " Judaism
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Israelis
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