Israel (Hebrew: éÄùÀÒøÈàÅìý, Yisra'el), officially called the State of Israel (Hebrew: îÀãÄéðÇú éÄùÀÒøÈàÅì (help·info),
Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل, Dawlat Isrā'īl), is a country in Southwest Asia located on the
southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It has borders with Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and
Egypt on the southwest. Also adjacent are the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are partially administrated by the
Palestinian National Authority and by a separate Hamas led government in Gaza.
The modern state of Israel has its roots in the unique relation of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, which has
been central to Judaism for over three thousand years and later to other religions. In 1922 the League of Nations
approved a British Mandate of Palestine with the object of creating a Jewish National Home.
In 1947, the United Nations approved the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish
and one Arab (See UN General Assembly Resolution 181). On May 14, 1948, Israel declared independence. Since
independence, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries. Major confrontations include the
1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. In the course of the conflict Israel's boundaries have
been subject to constant dispute and change. In recent years, Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and
Jordan, and there are been efforts to reach permanent agreements with the Palestinians.
Israel is the world's only Jewish state, and today has a population of about 7.1 million, about 75% of whom are Jews
from a diversity of Jewish backgrounds. It is also home to Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Bahai, mostly of local Arab
background, as well as other religious and ethnic minority groups.
Jerusalem is the capital and seat of government,
though it is not recognized as the capital by most countries.
to its broad array of political rights and civil liberties, Israel is considered a liberal democracy, despite
inequalities evident in treatment of Israeli Arabs. Despite Israel's
political problems and the vast sums it spends on military defense, the country is an active competitor in the global
market and is considered a developed country and the most progressive in the region in terms of free elections, freedom of the press,
business regulations, economic competition, and overall human development.
(Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel )
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Brief History
MAPS: Map of Israel
Map of Israel
Country Stub - More information to be provided
Synonyms and alternate spellings: