ISRAEL

Information about travelling to Israel

Israel is located in Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon

Facts about Israel
Population7,112,359 note: inc
CapitalJerusalem
Time zoneUTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begin
Location Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon

General info about Israel
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. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In April 2003, US President BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, and Russia - the "Quartet" - took the lead in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. An Israeli-Palestinian agreement reached at Sharm al-Sheikh in February 2005, along with an internally-brokered Palestinian ceasefire, significantly reduced the violence. In the summer of 2005, Israel 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 in January 2006 to head the Palestinian Legislative Council froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Ehud OLMERT became prime minister in March 2006; he shelved plans to unilaterally evacuate from most of the West Bank following an Israeli military operation in Gaza in June-July 2006 and a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006. OLMERT in June 2007 resumed talks with the PA after HAMAS seized control of the Gaza Strip and PA President Mahmoud ABBAS formed a new government without HAMAS. OLMERT in September 2008 resigned in the wake of several corruption allegations, but remains prime minister until a new government is formed after the general election in February 2009.
Languages spoken
Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
What about drugs?
increasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center
Ethnic division
Jewish 76.4% (of which Israel-born 67.1%, Europe/America-born 22.6%, Africa-born 5.9%, Asia-born 4.2%), non-Jewish 23.6% (mostly Arab) (2004)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.1% (2001 est.)
Climate
temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
Resources
timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
Economy
Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial, though diminishing, government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external debt is owed to the US, its major source of economic and military aid. Israel's GDP, after contracting slightly in 2001 and 2002 due to the Palestinian conflict and troubles in the high-technology sector, has grown by about 5% per year since 2003. The economy grew an estimated 4.2% in 2008, slowed by the global financial crisis. The government's prudent fiscal policy and structural reforms over the past few years have helped to induce strong foreign investment, tax revenues, and private consumption, setting the economy on a solid growth path.
Environment
limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides

Cities in Israel

abu ghosh     ashdod     ashqelon     azur     bat yam     beit jann     bene beraq     bet dagan     bet shemesh     bet yizhaq     deir hanna     dimona     elat     elyakhin     even yehuda     fassuta     fureidis     gan yavne     ganne tiqwa     gedera     haifa     hod hasharon     hurfeish     ibtin     iksal     jaljulye     jerusalem     jish     kabul     kafar kama     kafar manda     kafar qasem     kefar habad     kefar sava     kefar shemaryahu     kefar tavor     kefar weradim     kefar yona     lod     mazkeret batya     mizpe ramon     nahariyya     nahef     nehalim     nein     nesher     netanya     netivot     nordiyya     ofaqim     or yehuda     pardesiyya     qiryat atta     qiryat bialik     qiryat gat     qiryat motzkin     qiryat ono     qiryat shemona     qiryat yam     ramat gan     ramat hasharon     ramat yishay     ramla     reine     rekhasim     rosh pinna     rumat heib     sajur     sakhnin     sallama     savyon     sederot     sheikh dannun     shelomi     sulam     tamra     tayibe     tel aviv-yafo     tel mond     tiberias     timrat     tirat karmel     yavne     yeroham    

National airlines
Arkiaairline website
Englishairline website
El Al Israel Airlinesairline website


Airports in Israel
ElatETH
HaifaHFA
AtarotJRS
MasadaMTZ
Min'hat HashnayimSED
YotvataYOT


Beer in Israel (0.33l)
Ashdod~ 2.2 EUR
Ashdod~ 2.2 EUR
Eilat~ 1.9 EUR
Haifa~ 2.3 EUR
Herzliya~ 3.1 EUR
Herzliya~ 3.1 EUR
Jerusalem~ 2.2 EUR
JERUSALEM~ 2.2 EUR
Jerusalem~ 2.2 EUR
Kfar Saba~ 2 EUR
Nazareth~ 3.8 EUR
Netanya~ 2.2 EUR
Tel Aviv~ 2.3 EUR
Tel Aviv~ 2.3 EUR

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