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Israel Country Guide

Explore Israel in Asia

Israel with the capital city Jerusalem is located in Asia (Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 20,771 square kilometres (slightly larger than New Jersey) with 6,500,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Israel

The topography includes Negev desert in the south with low coastal plain, central mountains and Jordan Rift Valley. The average density of population is approximately 313 per km². The notable climate conditions in Israel can be described as temperate with hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas. Possible natural disasters include sandstorms may occur during spring and summer or droughts or periodic earthquakes.

To reach someone in Israel dial +972 prior to a number. There are 3,250,000 installed telephones. And there are 9,022,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".il". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Israel

White with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag; the basic design resembles a Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), which is white with blue stripes; the hexagram as a Jewish symbol dates back to medieval times.

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. 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. 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. Progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip. The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). In 2006 Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip during December 2008 and January 2009. Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU formed a coalition in March 2009 following a February 2009 general election. Direct talks with the PA launched in September 2010 collapsed following the expiration of Israel's 10-month partial settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Asia
Neighbours: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestinian Territory
Capital: Jerusalem
Size 20,770 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 8,019 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than New Jersey
Population 6,500,000
Currency Name: Shekel, Currency Code: ILS
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .il
Telephone Country Prefix +972
Mobile Phone Connections 9,022,000
Landline Phone Connections 3,250,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 20,770 (sq km) 154

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 7,707,042 97
Population growth rate 1.50 (%) 81
Birth rate 18.71 (births/1,000 population) 101
Death rate 5.52 (deaths/1,000 population) 174
Net migration rate 1.81 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 44
Maternal mortality rate 7.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 164
Infant mortality rate 4.03 (deaths/1,000 live births) 199
Life expectancy at birth 81.17 (years) 18
Total fertility rate 2.65 (children born/woman) 76
Health expenditures 7.60 (% of GDP) 69
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.20 (%) 101
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 7,500 109
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 136
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 26.20 (%) 49
Education expenditures 5.90 (% of GDP) 41
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 11.6 (%) 99


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 252,800,000,000 51
GDP - real growth rate 3.10 (%) 105
GDP - per capita (PPP) 32,800 44
Labor force 3,269,000 100
Unemployment rate 6.30 (%) 64
Distribution of family income - Gini index 39 66
Investment (gross fixed) 19.50 (% of GDP) 104
Taxes and other revenues 26.0 (% of GDP) 113
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -3.90 (% of GDP) 133
Public debt 74.40 (% of GDP) 34
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.10 (%) 37
Central bank discount rate 2.02 (%) 112
Commercial bank prime lending rate 5.54 (%) 148
Stock of narrow money 30,230,000,000 58
Stock of broad money 208,800,000,000 39
Stock of domestic credit 180,100,000,000 41
Market value of publicly traded shares 218,100,000,000 33
Industrial production growth rate 2.00 (%) 117
Current account balance -2,579,000,000 146
Exports 64,740,000,000 54
Imports 77,590,000,000 40
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 75,240,000,000 28
Debt - external 93,560,000,000 50
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 73,070,000,000 49
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 74,530,000,000 30


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 53,550,000,000 (kWh) 49
Electricity - consumption 45,590,000,000 (kWh) 49
Electricity - exports 3,783,000,000 (kWh) 34
Electricity - installed generating capacity 12070000 (kW) 50
Electricity - from fossil fuels 99.7 (% of total installed capacity) 53
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 0.1 (% of total installed capacity) 149
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.3 (% of total installed capacity) 81
Crude oil - production 100 (bbl/day) 101
Crude oil - imports 224,400 (bbl/day) 31
Crude oil - proved reserves 11800000 (bbl) 92
Refined petroleum products - production 242,100 (bbl/day) 51
Refined petroleum products - consumption 238,400 (bbl/day) 54
Refined petroleum products - exports 71,100 (bbl/day) 50
Refined petroleum products - imports 50,490 (bbl/day) 68
Natural gas - production 1,550,000,000 (cu m) 62
Natural gas - consumption 3,650,000,000 (cu m) 69
Natural gas - imports 2,100,000,000 (cu m) 48
Natural gas - proved reserves 270,700,000,000 (cu m) 43
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 70,320,000 (Mt) 48


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,500,000 47
Telephones - mobile cellular 9,200,000 80
Internet hosts 2,483,000 36
Internet users 4,525,000 51


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 47 92
Railways 975 (km) 89
Roadways 18,290 (km) 114
Merchant marine 8 120


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 7.40 (% of GDP) 7

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee
The Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and Western Galilee are inscribed for their profound spiritual meaning and the testimony they bear to the strong tradition of pilgrimage in the Bahá’i faith. The property includes the two most holy places in the ...
Biblical Tels - Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba
Tels (prehistoric settlement mounds), are characteristic of the flatter lands of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Lebanon, Syria, Israel and eastern Turkey. Of more than 200 tels in Israel, Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba are representative of t ...
Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves
The archaeological site contains some 3,500 underground chambers distributed among distinct complexes carved in the thick and homogenous soft chalk of Lower Judea under the former towns of Maresha and Bet Guvrin. Situated on the crossroads of trade r ...
Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev
The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta, along with associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes in the Negev Desert, are spread along routes linking them to the Mediterranean end of the incense and spice route. Together the ...
Masada is a rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in ...
Old City of Acre
Acre is a historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period. The present city is characteristic of a fortified town dating from the Ottoman 18th and 19th centuries, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosq ...
Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves
Situated on the western slopes of the Mount Carmel range, the site includes the caves of Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad and Skhul. Ninety years of archaeological research have revealed a cultural sequence of unparalleled duration, providing an archive of early ...
White City of Tel-Aviv -- the Modern Movement
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and developed as a metropolitan city under the British Mandate in Palestine. The White City was constructed from the early 1930s until the 1950s, based on the urban plan by Sir Patrick Geddes, reflecting modern organic pl ...