|Official Name||(State of Israel) Medinat Israel||Capital||Jerusalem||Population||6.2 million||Area||20,772 sq km or 8,020 sq mi||Currency||Shekel ($1 = 3.338)||Religion||Judaism and Islam||Literacy||95%||Languages||Hebrew, Arabic & English||Major Cities||Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa||Climate||Mediterranean climate|
Physical Map of Israel
The mountains of Galilee region dominate the northern section of Israel. South of Galilee lies the Plain of Esdraelon, a densely populated and productive agricultural region which runs 55 km long and 25 km wide.
Over 82 per cent of the population is made up of Jews. The remainder 18 per cent consists of the Arabs who are mainly Muslims. Most of the people of Israel live in metropolitan areas and heavy concentration is found around the cities of Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv-Yafo, and Haifa. The people of Israel usually live in numerous communities of more than 2,000 people.
Location of Israel
Israel is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The north of Israel is bound by Lebanon, the northeast by Syria, the east by Jordan, and the southwest by Egypt.
The southernmost tip of the country extends to the Gulf of Aqaba, a channel of the Red Sea.
Flag of Israel
The flag of Israel is white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David), which is centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag.
Climate of Israel
The Climate of Israel is typically Mediterranean in nature with cool, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. Temperatures vary considerably with elevation, exposure to the sea, and predominant winds. January is normally the coldest month and August the warmest.
Israel has about 2,500 species of plants, out of which the majority is xerophytic in nature, i.e., capable of surviving prolonged dry spells. Agricultural products include citrus fruits, bananas, cotton, tobacco, grapes, dates, figs, olives, almonds, and avocados. Though original evergreen forests have been victim of deforestation, millions of new trees have been planted under reforestation program and today, natural woodlands and reforested areas cover 6 percent of the land. There are many species of animals, including 100 species of mammals like wild boars, gazelles, ibexes, jackals, hyenas, wildcats, and badgers. There are about 380 species of birds, including about 100 migratory birds. Partridges, cuckoos, bustards, sand grouses, and desert larks are also found in Israel. A variety of reptiles, fishes, and insects also inhabit Israel.
Arts, Culture and Music of Israel
The talents in Israel are tremendous and this is precisely why the country has a rich culture to boast about. Israel's writers and performers, painters, sculptors, and photographers have always examined personal and social issues relating to Jewish identity and statehood.
Many Israeli artists and sculptors, including Yaacov Agam, Dani Karavan, and Reuvin Rubin, have even gained international recognition for their work. Filmmaking is also a growing market in Israel and had begun in the 1950s and since has developed strongly under the Israel Film Center.
Economy of Israel
The economy of Israel has grown rapidly and the standard of living of the people is also quite high despite the fact that the country's defence spending remains one of the world's highest per capita and the growing influx of immigrants always manages to strain the availability of jobs and housing. Adding further to the challenges is the lack of natural resources and economic isolation from the Jewish states. In 2001, the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the country touched $108.32 billion and its per capita GDP of $17,020 was one of the highest in the world. Economic diversification, high investment, a skilled and educated workforce, and a commitment to research and development have contributed to this economic success of Israel.