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World > Middle East > Israel

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   Israel

Introduction:
Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted. On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the 'Oslo Accords') guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. In April 2003, US President BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, and Russia - the 'Quartet' - took the lead in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. An Israeli-Palestinian agreement reached at Sharm al-Sheikh in February 2005, along with an internally-brokered Palestinian ceasefire, significantly reduced the violence. In the summer of 2005, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military. The election of HAMAS in January 2006 to head the Palestinian Legislative Council froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Ehud OLMERT became prime minister in March 2006; following an Israeli military operation in Gaza in June-July 2006, he shelved plans to unilaterally evacuate from most of the West Bank. The kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Lebanese Hizballah led to a 34-day conflict in Lebanon in June-August 2006.


Official name: State of Israel
Capital: name: Jerusalem
geographic coordinates: 31 46 N, 35 14 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends the Sunday between the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Population: 6,426,679
note: includes about 187,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, about 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and fewer than 177,000 in East Jerusalem (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Official Currency: Israeli New Shekel (ILS)

Current Israeli New Shekel Exchange Rates
Historical Israeli New Shekel Exchange Rates
Chart Israeli New Shekel Exchange Rates
Currency code: ILS
Area: total: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km
Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas


Map of Israel
map of Israel


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Israeli New Shekel Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Israeli New Shekel Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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