Israel is a southeast Asian country, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It occupies an area of 20 770 km 2 . It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest, and is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Gulf of Aqaba (arm of the Red Sea), the south. The main cities are Jerusalem, the capital, with a population of 708 500 residents (2004), Tel Aviv (369 000 residents) and Haifa (283 400 residents).
In Israel, four regions can be distinguished: the Mediterranean coastal plain; the mountainous region that crosses the country from the North to the Center; the region of the Great Rift valley, which constitutes Israel’s natural border with Jordan and which includes the Jordan River and that which is the lowest place on Earth’s surface, the Dead Sea, located 400 meters below the level of the sea; and the Negev desert region, the largest in the country, which occupies all of southern Israel.
The climate is arid, being milder in the North, where it is more humid and cool. In the South, aridity is accentuated, precipitation is scarce and the temperature is higher.
The Israeli economy has services as its main sector, highlighting the role that financial and tourism activities play in making this sector contribute 25% to GDP. The industry, on the other hand, is quite developed, especially that which is linked to the manufacture of armaments, electronic products, motor vehicles, textiles and the processing of fertilizers, noting also the strong development registered in the industry aeronautics. In relation to the agricultural sector, its development is based on kibbutzim (collective properties) and moshavim (cooperative properties), which, although only 1/5 of the land is arable, have gradually increased their production (including orange, grapefruit, pineapple, banana, cotton, etc.) at the expense using modern irrigation techniques. Israel’s main trading partners are the United States of America, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 10.0.
The population, in 2006, was 6 352 117 residents.
The birth and death rates are, respectively, 17.97% o and 6.18% o. Average life expectancy is 79.46 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.905 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.910 (2001).
Israeli society is dominated by Jews (80% of the population), with the rest of the population being Muslim (15%), Christian (3%) and Druze (2%) minorities. The official languages are Hebrew and Arabic.
- Countryaah: provides country profile of Israel, including its state flag, official language, population rankings, land area, history overview, summary of economy and culture as well as map of Israel.
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