Israel officially the State of Israel is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in thenortheast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area Israel is the world's onlyJewish-majority state and is defined as "a Jewish and democratic state” by the Israeli government.
Population (2010 est.): 7,353,985 (growth rate: 1.6%); birth rate: 19.5/1000; infant mortality rate:4.1/1000; life expectancy: 80.8; density per sq km: 319
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Jerusalem, 695,500 Note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the U.S., like nearly allother countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.
Other large cities: Tel Aviv, 365,300; Haifa, 280,200
Monetary unit: Shekel
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic, English
Ethnicity/race: Jewish80.1% (Europe/Americas/Oceania-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab) (1996 est.)
Religions: Judaism 77%, Islam 16%, Christian 2%, Druze 2%(2003)
National Holiday: Independence Day, April or May 14
Literacy rate: 97% (2004 est.)
Transportation: Railways: total: 853 km (2006). Highways: total: 17,446 km; paved: 17,446 km (including 56km of expressways); unpaved: 0 km (2004). Ports and harbors: Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa. Airports: 53 (2007).
Israel is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea,bounded by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest. It lies between latitudes 29° and 34° N, and longitudes 34° and 36° E.
The sovereign territory ofIsrael, excluding all territories captured by 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. The total area...
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