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Facts about Israel

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Where is Israel ?
Israel a country located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

What is the capital of Israel?
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel. With an estimated population of 763,800 residents, it is the largest city in Israel. Jerusalem is located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is accorded with the title of the "Holy City"; the three major religions of the country are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, and attacked fifty-two times. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. Today, the holy city is torn between the Israel-Palestine conflict.

What countries border Israel ?
Jerusalem is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East bordering Lebanon in the north, Syria in the north-east, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, and Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the south-west.

How big is Israel?
Including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the total area covered by Israel is 8,522 square miles.

What is the population of Israel ?
According to the 2011 census, the estimated population of Israel is around 7,798,600. It is the ninety-seventh most populated nation in the world.

What are the ethnic groups in Israel ?
Israel has a population of 7.6 million. The majority of the population is made up of Jews; Israel is often referred to as the Jewish state. Around twenty percent of the Israelis are of the Arabic descent while the remaining population includes migrant workers from Romania, China, Thailand, Africa and South America.

What are the administrative divisions of Israel ?
For administrative purposes, Israel is divided into six administrative districts, that are known as mehozot. The districts are sub-divided into fifteen sub-districts known as nafot; and the sub-districts are further divided into fifty natural regions. The country is divided into three metropolitan areas for statistical purposes. The three areas are: Tel Aviv metropolitan area, Haifa metropolitan area, and Beer Sheva metropolitan area.

Who are the political leaders of Israel ?
The government of Israel is a parliamentary democracy with universal suffrage. The Prime Minister is the head of government while the Knesset serves as the unicameral legislative body of the country.

President - Reuven Rivlin
Prime Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu
Knesset Speaker - Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

What is the official currency of Israel?
The Israeli New Shekel denoted by the ISO 4217 code ILS is the official currency of the State of Israel. The shekel is divided into 100 agorot. The shekel is represented by the symbol ₪.

What is the official language of Israel ?
Israel recognizes two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic. The majority of the population of the country speak Hebrew; it is the primary language. Arabic is spoken by the Arab community in the country, which is a minority. English is also spoken and is taught from the early grades in elementary school. Russian and Amharic are widely spoken by the Russian migrants in Israel.

What is the official religion of Israel ?
Israel is a Holy Land and is significantly important for Abrahamic religions – Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bahais. Muslims are the largest religious minority making up sixteen percent of the population. There are a few Christians in the country and over two percent are Druze. Also, there are a few Buddhists and Hindus in Israel as well.

What is the economy of Israel like ?
Israel is one of the most advanced countries in south-west Asia. In 2010, the economy based on the nominal gross domestic product, was the forty-second largest in the world. Israel ranks second in the second-largest number of startup companies in the world. In 2011, the gross domestic product (nominal) was estimated at $245.266 billion, while the per capita was $32,297. Agriculture and industry are the key sectors of the economy of Israel. The imports in the country include fossil fuels, raw materials, and military equipment, while the leading export items include electronics, software, communications technology, computerized systems, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, fruits, chemicals, diamonds, and military technology.

Tourism contributes effectively to the country’s GDP. Beaches, archaeological and historical sites, and the religious monuments in Israel draw many tourists to the country. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world. Israel also leads in the development of solar energy, water conservation and geothermal energy.

When is the national day of Israel celebrated ?
The national day of Israel is celebrated every 5th of the Iyar month of the Hebrew calendar. It is called Yom Ha'atzmaut and is celebrated to mark the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. On the 14th of May in 1948, Israel proclaimed its independence from the British Mandate of Palestine.

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