Israel in the southeast corner of the
Mediterranean is the only country in the world that has
a Jewish majority population. The State of Israel was
established in 1948 with the support of the Western
powers on the land that was the Biblical homeland of the
Jews but also populated by Muslims and Christians. Thus,
one of the world's most difficult political conflicts
arose. Israel has fought several wars with neighboring
countries and a constant confrontation is ongoing
between Israel and the Palestinians on the West Bank and
Gaza, which was occupied by Israel in 1967.
Brief profiles of Israel, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Israel is located in West Asia, in the
vaguely defined part of the world called the Middle
East. The country has a long coast towards the
Mediterranean and in the south a short coast towards the
Aqaba Bay, which is part of the Red
Sea. Israel's borders are contentious.
In the 1967 Six Day War (see Modern History), Israel
conquered East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights along the
border with Syria. East Jerusalem and the Golan have
been placed under Israeli law. Furthermore, in the 1967
war, Israel occupied the West Bank (West Jordan Beach)
and the Gaza Strip (Gaza). Israel left Gaza in 2005, but
has retained control of most of the West Bank.
The real Israel is big like ┼ngermanland. The Galilee
in the north is Israel's greenest and wateriest area.
Farthest north is the country's highest mountain.
Through the eastern Galilee, from Lebanon in the north,
the Jordan River flows south. The river flows through
Lake Genesaret, Israel's foremost water reservoir. The
Galilee is separated from the West Bank by a fertile
fault valley, the Yisreel plain. On the West Bank there
are two mountain areas: the Samaritan mountains in the
north and the Jewish mountains in the south. Under the
West Bank's porous mountains and hills, rainwater
naturally accumulates in underground groundwater
Between the West Bank and the Mediterranean, Israel
is largely occupied by coastal plains. These are fertile
but are getting drier and sandier the farther south and
the closer to Gaza you come.
The deep-cut Jordan Valley separates Israel and the
West Bank from Jordan in the east. The Jordan River
follows the bottom of the valley and ends in the Dead
Sea, which is the world's lowest lake, just over 400
meters below sea level. The Dead Sea has no outlet:
almost no animals or plants can live in its salty,
mineral-rich waters. As both Israel, the West Bank and
Jordan divert water from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea
is shrinking at a rapid rate. South of the Dead Sea, the
Jordandalen fault fault continues down to Aqaba Bay.
Through Sodom Mountain, Has Sedom by the Dead Sea,
runs the salt cave Malham, which according to a
measurement in 2019 is at least a mile deep. Droplets,
stalactites hang from the "roof" of the cave.
The rainwater that falls in desert regions is rarely
plentiful, but it penetrates down the mountain so that a
salt cave is in constant transformation.
Southern Israel is occupied by the Negev desert,
which is mostly a desert, with low sandstone hills and
plains. At the bottom of the south take steep mountains,
craters and plateaus.
Shared governance at the West Bank
On the West Bank, the majority of residents are
Palestinians, but since the 1970s Israeli settlers have
been allowed to establish so-called settlements.
Palestinians demand that the Israeli occupation cease,
that settlements be abolished and that the West Bank and
Gaza be recognized as the state of Palestine.
In 1993, the first Oslo agreement was signed, which
gave the Palestinians some autonomy on the West Bank.
Since the Oslo process, which included several
agreements, the West Bank is divided into three types of
areas, A, B and C. In Area A, which comprises 18 percent
of the area, the Palestinian authorities have control.
In Area B - 22 percent - the Palestinians have civilian
control, but the Israeli army manages the security. The
rest - Area C - is controlled by Israel. Area A and Area
B are divided into over 200 enclaves, units
scattered and surrounded by Area C. Israel controls the
roads between the Palestinian enclaves. The road network
for settlers is undergoing further development, and this
is largely done on compulsory Palestinian land. The
Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem
publisheslists of roadblocks and roads that are
forbidden to Palestinians.
When Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, the
Palestinians seized power in the area.
Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem (in
the case of Palestinians at least the eastern, older
part of the city) as their capital. In Arabic, Jerusalem
is called al-Quds, the Holy One.
Over 130 countries have recognized the state of
Palestine but only a few in Western Europe, including
In practice, Israel has two seasons. The rainy winter
season begins in November. The summer is long, hot and
dry and can be said to extend from May to October.
Regional conditions vary greatly, with fairly
abundant winter rains in the north and almost no rain at
all in the south. Along the coast, summer is humid and
winter is mild, while summer is dry and winter is cool
in the mountains. In the Jordandalen, summer is hot and
winter is pleasant. In winter, snow can fall in some
22 145 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
Capital with number of inhabitants
Israel considers Jerusalem to be the capital, but the
outside world treats Tel Aviv as the capital with few
exceptions. In 2016, Jerusalem had 865,000 inhabitants
and Tel Aviv-Jaffa had 432,900. (2016) 1
Other major cities
Haifa (278,900), Rishon LeZyyon (244,000), Petah
Tiqwa (231,000), Ashdod (220,200), Beer Sheva (203,600)
Meron (1208 m asl)
- In December 2017, the United States
recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital,Sources