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The State of Israel

"Medinat Yisra'el"

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Nation Summary

Israel, the world's only Jewish nation, is located in the Middle East. Israel has literally been in a state of war since her declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. On that date, the Jewish community in what was then known as British Mandated Palestine, declared independence as the State of Israel. Active combat against local Arab Palestinians had begun earlier, and upon the independence declaration, six neighboring Arab states invaded the newly born Israeli nation.

Independence: May 14, 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

Capital: Jerusalem

Population & Ethnic Groups

Population (2005) --6,276,883

Ethnic Groups--

Jewish: 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%)--In this context, being Jewish is considered both an ethnicity and a religion.



Jewish 76.5%

Muslim 15.9%

Arab Christians 1.7%,

non-Arab Christians 0.4%,

Druze 1.6%,


Hebrew (official), Arabic is used officially for Arab minority, English is the most commonly used foreign language

Literacy: (Defined as how many people age 15 and over can read and write)

National Literacy Rate: 95.4%

Wars & Conflicts of Israel

War of Independence (1948-1949)

Suez/Sinai War (1956)

Conflict with the Palestinians (1964-Present)

Six-Day War (1967)

War of Attrition (1968-1970)

Yom Kippur War (1973)

Lebanon War (1982-2000)


Hezbollah War

1st Intifada

2nd Intifada

See also:

Arab-Israeli Border Wars

Arab-Israeli Wars

Arab-Israeli War Links

Israel-Lebanon/Hezbollah War of 2006--*New*--Details and analysis on the warfare along the Lebanese border which began in July, 2006!

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict--*New*--Background information on the long-running warfare between Israel and the Palestinians!

Israel-Lebanon Conflict--*New*--Background information on the warfare along the Lebanese border!

Israeli-Palestinian Battles and Campaigns--*New*--Specific information on the warfare raids, battles, terrorist attacks, and retaliations between Israel and the Palestinians!

Economic Data

Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain, but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $129 billion --This is how much, in U.S. dollars, this nation's economy produces in terms of products and services annually. (2003)

GDP - per capita: $20,800 (2004)--This figure shows how much personal wealth, on average, each Israeli is worth. This is usually a good indicator of whether the nation can be considered "wealthy" or not.


See also--Middle East Economic Data

Source: The CIA World Factbook 

Neighboring Nations

Lebanon -to the north

Syria-to the northeast

Jordan-to the east

Saudi Arabia-to the southeast

Egypt-to the west

Palestinian Authority--to the west (Gaza), and to the east (West Bank)

Copyright 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 04.30.11

"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.

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National Politics

Form of Government--Parliamentary Democracy

Current Leaders:

Prime Minister : Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party (since March 31, 2009)

President: Shimon Peres (Since July 15, 2007)

Next National Elections: March 28, 2006


Major Political Parties

Likud ("Consolidation")


Kadima ("Forward")


Biofiles -Biography pages of people who impacted Israel.

Ariel Sharon--Military leader and Prime Minister



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