+972 is the dialing code for Israel.
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.
- Abbreviationfinder: 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 Ångermanland. 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 reservoirs, aquifers.
|Cultivated land||23.8 %|
|Land area||20770 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.56 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||92.1 %|
|Death rate||5.15 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||84.21 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||80.43 years|
|Birth rate||18.48 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||3.55 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||64440 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||3079.4 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||7510 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||75.8 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||120 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||346 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||5.6% of the workforce|
|GDP||33700 per resident|
|Primary occupations||2 %|
|Secondary profession||16 %|
|Tertiary professions||82 %|
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 Sweden.
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 mountain areas.
22 145 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
Capital with number of residents
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 residents and Tel Aviv-Jaffa had 432,900. (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Haifa (278,900), Rishon LeZyyon (244,000), Petah Tiqwa (231,000), Ashdod (220,200), Beer Sheva (203,600) (2016)
Meron (1208 m asl)