Israel

Coordinates: 31°N 35°E / 31°N 35°E / 31; 35
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State of Israel
מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל‎ (Hebrew)
دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل‎ (Arabic)
Anthem: הַתִּקְוָה (
Knesset Speaker
Amir Ohana
Uzi Vogelman (acting)
LegislatureKnesset
Independence from Mandatory Palestine
14 May 1948
11 May 1949
1958–2018
Area
• Total
21,937[12][13] km2 (8,470 sq mi)[a] (149th)
• Water (%)
2.71 (as of 2015)[14]
Population
• 2023 estimate
9,818,240[15][fn 4] (93rd)
• 2008 census
7,412,200[16][fn 4]
• Density
445/km2 (1,152.5/sq mi) (29th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $537.140 billion[17] (47th)
• Per capita
Increase $54,771[17] (30th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $521.688 billion[17] (29th)
• Per capita
Increase $53,195[17] (18th)
Gini (2018)34.8[fn 4][18]
medium
HDI (2021)Increase 0.919[19]
very high · 22nd
CurrencyNew shekel () (ILS)
Time zoneUTC+2:00 (IST)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3:00 (IDT)
Date format
  • יי-חח-שששש (AM)
  • dd-mm-yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+972
ISO 3166 codeIL
Internet TLD.il
  1. ^ 20,770 km2 is Israel within the Green Line. 22,072 km2 includes the occupied Golan Heights (c. 1,200 km2 (460 sq mi)) and East Jerusalem (c. 64 km2 (25 sq mi)).

Israel (

Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל Medīnat Yisrāʾēl [mediˈnat jisʁaˈʔel]; دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل Dawlat Isrāʾīl [dawla ʔisraːʔiːl]), is a country in West Asia. It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, by Syria to the northeast, by Jordan to the east, by the Red Sea to the south, by Egypt to the southwest, by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and by the Palestinian territories – the West Bank along the east and the Gaza Strip along the southwest. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.[20][fn 5] With a population of nearly 10 million people, as of 2023, Israel is the only country where Jews constitute a majority of the population.[22]

Israel is located in the

Arab rule. In the Middle Ages, it was part of the Islamic Caliphates, the Crusader Kingdom, and the Ottoman Empire. The late 19th century saw the rise of Zionism, a movement advocating for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, during which the Jewish people began purchasing land in Palestine. Under the British Mandate placed by the League of Nations after World War I, Jewish immigration to the region increased considerably, leading to tensions between Jews and the Arab majority population. The UN-approved 1947 partition plan triggered a civil war between these two peoples. The British terminated the Mandate on 14 May 1948, and Israel declared independence
on the same day.

On 15 May 1948, the armies of five neighboring Arab states invaded the area of the former Mandatory Palestine, starting the

settlements across the occupied territories, actions which violate international law. Since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt, returning the Sinai Peninsula, and with Jordan, and more recently normalized relations with several Arab countries, though efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not succeeded. Israel's practices, in the longest military occupation in modern history, have drawn international condemnation for violating the human rights of Palestinians.[26]

The country has a parliamentary system elected by means of proportional representation. The prime minister serves as head of government, and is elected by the Knesset, Israel's unicameral legislature.[27] Israel is the most developed and one of the richest countries in the Middle East,[28][29][30] and an OECD member since 2010.[31] It has the highest standards of living in the Middle East, and is one of the most advanced and technological countries,[32][33][34] It has the world's 29th-largest economy by nominal GDP and 18th by nominal GDP per capita.[17]

Etymology

biblical archeologists
translate a set of hieroglyphs as "Israel", the first instance of the name in the record.

Under the

Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.[38]

The names

entire Jewish people respectively.[39] The name 'Israel' (Hebrew: Yīsrāʾēl; Septuagint Greek: Ἰσραήλ, Israēl, 'El (God) persists/rules', though after Hosea 12:4 often interpreted as 'struggle with God')[40] in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.[41][42][43][44][non-primary source needed] Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. According to the Bible, Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years,[45][46][a] until Moses, a great-great-grandson of Jacob,[47][non-primary source needed] led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus". The earliest known archaeological artefact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).[48]

History

anatomically modern humans outside of Africa.[50] The Natufian culture emerged in the southern Levant by the 10th millennium BCE,[51] followed by the Ghassulian culture by around 4,500 BCE.[52]

Bronze and Iron Ages

Canaanite wall of Jerusalem in the City of David

The

Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE), large parts of Canaan formed vassal states paying tribute to the New Kingdom of Egypt.[56] As a result of the Late Bronze Age collapse, Canaan fell into chaos, and Egyptian control over the region collapsed completely.[57][58] There is evidence that urban centers such as Hazor, Beit She'an, Megiddo, Ekron, Ashdod, and Ashkelon were damaged or destroyed.[59]

A people named Israel appear for the first time in the Merneptah Stele, an ancient Egyptian inscription which dates to about 1200 BCE.[60][61][fn 7][63] Ancestors of the Israelites are thought to have included ancient Semitic-speaking peoples native to this area.[64]: 78–79  Modern archaeological accounts suggest that the Israelites and their culture branched out of the Canaanite peoples and their cultures through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh.[65][66][67] They spoke an archaic form of the Hebrew language, known as Biblical Hebrew.[68] Around the same time, the Philistines settled on the southern coastal plain.[69][70]

Modern archaeology has largely discarded the historicity of the narrative in the Torah concerning the patriarchs, The Exodus and the tales of conquest described in the Book of Joshua, and instead views the narrative as constituting the Israelites' national myth.[71] However, some elements of these traditions do appear to have historical roots.[72][73][74]

Map of Israel and Judah in the 9th century BCE

There is debate about the earliest existence of the

Omride dynasty, it controlled Samaria, Galilee, the upper Jordan Valley, the Sharon and large parts of the Transjordan.[82] Samaria, the capital, was home to one of the largest Iron Age structures in the Levant.[83][84]

The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed around 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the

Iron Age II.[86] In 587/6 BCE, following a revolt in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar II besieged and destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple,[87][88] dissolved the kingdom and exiled much of the Judean elite to Babylon, beginning the Babylonian captivity.[89] The defeat was also recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.[90][91] After capturing Babylon in 539 BCE, Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire, issued a proclamation allowing the exiled Judean population to return to Judah.[92][93]
The returned Jewish population was permitted to self-govern and rebuild the Temple.

Classical antiquity

The construction of the Second Temple was completed c. 520 BCE.[92] The Achaemenids ruled the region as the province of Yehud Medinata,[94] which had a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE.[77]: 308 

In 332 BCE, Alexander the Great of Macedon conquered the region as part of his campaign against the Achaemenid Empire. After his death, the area was controlled by the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires as a part of Coele-Syria. Over the ensuing centuries, the Hellenization of the region led to cultural tensions that came to a head during the reign of Antiochus IV, giving rise to the Maccabean Revolt of 167 BCE. The civil unrest weakened Seleucid rule and in the late 2nd century the semi-autonomous Hasmonean Kingdom of Judea arose, eventually attaining full independence and expanding into neighboring regions.[95][96][97]

Masada fortress, the location of a 1st-century Roman siege

The

Roman province of Judaea, a period that heralded tensions with Roman rule, and led to a series of Jewish–Roman wars, resulting in widespread destruction. The First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple and a sizable portion of the population being killed or displaced.[98]

A second uprising known as the Bar Kokhba revolt took place during 132–136 CE. Initial successes allowed the Jews to form an independent state in Judea, but the Romans massed large forces and brutally crushed the rebellion, devastating and depopulating Judea's countryside.[98][99][100][101][102] Jerusalem was rebuilt as a Roman colony under the name of Aelia Capitolina, and the province of Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina.[103][104] Jews were expelled from the districts surrounding Jerusalem,[105][101] and joined communities in the diaspora.[106] Nevertheless, there was a continuous small Jewish presence and Galilee became its religious center.[107][108] Jewish communities also continued to reside in the southern Hebron Hills and on the coastal plain.[101]

Late antiquity and the medieval period

3rd-century Kfar Bar'am synagogue in the Galilee[109]

With the transition of Roman rule into that of the

conversion of Constantine in the 4th century, the situation for the Jewish majority in Palestine "became more difficult".[106] A series of laws were passed that discriminated against Jews and Judaism, and Jews were persecuted by both the church and the authorities.[111] Many Jews had emigrated to flourishing Diaspora communities,[112] while locally there was both Christian immigration and local conversion. By the middle of the 5th century, there was a Christian majority.[113][114] Towards the end of the 5th century, Samaritan revolts erupted, continuing until the late 6th century and resulting in a large decrease in the Samaritan population.[115] After the Sasanian conquest of Jerusalem and the short-lived Jewish revolt against Heraclius in 614 CE, the Byzantine Empire reconsolidated control of the area in 628.[116]

In 634–641 CE, the

Modern period and the emergence of Zionism

Jews at the Western Wall in the 1870s

In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and proceeded to be ruled as a part of Ottoman Syria for the next four centuries. In 1660, a Druze revolt led to the destruction of Safed and Tiberias.[123] In the late 18th century, local Arab Sheikh Zahir al-Umar created a de facto independent Emirate in the Galilee. Ottoman attempts to subdue the Sheikh failed, but after Zahir's death the Ottomans regained control of the area. In 1799 governor Jazzar Pasha successfully repelled an assault on Acre by troops of Napoleon, prompting the French to abandon the Syrian campaign.[124] In 1834, a revolt by Palestinian Arab peasants broke out against Egyptian conscription and taxation policies under Muhammad Ali. Although the revolt was suppressed, Muhammad Ali's army retreated and Ottoman rule was restored with British support in 1840.[125] Shortly after, the Tanzimat reforms were implemented across the Ottoman Empire.

Since the existence of the earliest Jewish diaspora, many Jews have aspired to return to "Zion" and the "Land of Israel",[126] though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute.[127] Although the Jewish population shrank dramatically throughout the periods of Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, and Islamic rule, a Jewish presence continued to survive in the region. The Jewish population of Palestine from the outset of Ottoman rule to the beginning of the Zionist movement, known as the Old Yishuv, comprised a minority of the predominantly Muslim and Christian population and fluctuated in size throughout the centuries. During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the Four Holy CitiesJerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed—and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem.[128] In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European Jews who were opponents of Hasidism, known as the Perushim, settled in Palestine.[129][130]

The First Zionist Congress (1897) in Basel, Switzerland

The first wave of modern Jewish migration to

Orthodox Jews,[136] although the Second Aliyah included socialist groups who established the kibbutz movement.[137] Though the immigrants of the Second Aliyah largely sought to create communal agricultural settlements, the period saw the establishment of Tel Aviv as the first planned Jewish town in 1909. This period also saw the emergence of Jewish armed militias, the first being Bar-Giora, a guard founded in 1907. Two years later, the larger Hashomer
organization was founded as its replacement.

British Mandate

In 1917, during World War I, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour sent the Balfour Declaration to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, that stated that Britain intended for the creation of a Jewish "national home" in Palestine.[138][139]

In 1918, the

Lehi paramilitaries later split off.[143] In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain the Mandate for Palestine under terms which included the Balfour Declaration with its promise to the Jews, and with similar provisions regarding the Arab Palestinians.[144] The population of the area at this time was predominantly Arab and Muslim, with Jews accounting for about 11%,[145] and Arab Christians about 9.5% of the population.[146]

"Jews and Arabs in Grim Struggle for Holy Land", article from 1938

The

Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, a clandestine movement known as Aliyah Bet was organized to bring Jews to Palestine. By the end of World War II, the Jewish population of Palestine had increased to 31% of the total population.[151]

After World War II, the UK found itself facing a Jewish guerrilla campaign over Jewish immigration restrictions, as well as continued conflict with the Arab community over limit levels. The Haganah joined Irgun and Lehi in an armed struggle against British rule.[152] At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees sought a new life far from their destroyed communities in Europe. The Haganah attempted to bring these refugees to Palestine in a programme called Aliyah Bet in which tens of thousands of Jewish refugees attempted to enter Palestine by ship. Most of the ships were intercepted by the Royal Navy and the refugees rounded up and placed in detention camps in Atlit and Cyprus by the British.[153][154]

UN Map, "Palestine plan of partition with economic union"

On 22 July 1946, Irgun

General Assembly of the United Nations resolved that the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine be created "to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine."[161] In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the General Assembly,[162] the majority of the Committee in Chapter VI proposed a plan to replace the British Mandate with "an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem [...] the last to be under an International Trusteeship System."[163] Meanwhile, the Jewish insurgency continued and peaked in July 1947, with a series of widespread guerrilla raids culminating in the Sergeants affair, in which the Irgun took two British sergeants hostage as attempted leverage against the planned execution of three Irgun operatives. After the executions were carried out, the Irgun killed the two British soldiers, hanged their bodies from trees, and left a booby trap at the scene which injured a British soldier. The incident caused widespread outrage in the UK.[164]

In September 1947, the British cabinet decided that the Mandate was no longer tenable and to evacuate Palestine. According to Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones, four major factors led to the decision to evacuate Palestine: the inflexibility of Jewish and Arab negotiators who were unwilling to compromise on their core positions over the question of a Jewish state in Palestine, the economic pressure that stationing a large garrison in Palestine to deal with the Jewish insurgency, the possibility of a wider Jewish rebellion, and the possibility of an Arab rebellion put on a British economy already strained by World War II, the "deadly blow to British patience and pride" caused by the hangings of the sergeants, and the mounting criticism the government faced in failing to find a new policy for Palestine in place of the White Paper of 1939.[164]

On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted

a number of factors.[179]

State of Israel

Independence and the early years

Raising of the Ink Flag on 10 March 1949, marking the end of the 1948 war

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate,

Syria, Transjordan and Iraq—entered into parts of what had been British Mandatory Palestine, launching the 1948 Arab–Israeli War;[183][184][185] contingents from Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sudan joined the war.[186][187] The apparent purpose of the invasion was to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state at inception, and some Arab leaders talked about "driving the Jews into the sea".[171][188][189] According to Benny Morris, Jews were worried that the invading Arab armies held the intent to slaughter them.[190] The Arab league stated the invasion was to restore law and order and to prevent further bloodshed.[191]

After a year of fighting, a

expelled by or fled from advancing Israeli forces during the conflict—what would become known in Arabic as the Nakba ("catastrophe").[193] Some 156,000 remained and became Arab citizens of Israel.[194]

Israel

Jordanian government.[196] In the early years of the state, the Labor Zionist movement led by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion dominated Israeli politics.[197][198]

Immigration to Israel during the late 1940s and early 1950s was aided by the Israeli Immigration Department and the non-government sponsored Mossad LeAliyah Bet (lit. "Institute for Immigration B") which organized illegal and clandestine immigration.[199] Both groups facilitated regular immigration logistics like arranging transportation, but the latter also engaged in clandestine operations in countries, particularly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where the lives of Jews were believed to be in danger and exit from those places was difficult. Mossad LeAliyah Bet was disbanded in 1953.[200] The immigration was in accordance with the One Million Plan. The immigrants came for differing reasons: some held Zionist beliefs or came for the promise of a better life in Israel, while others moved to escape persecution or were expelled.[201][202]

An

reparations agreement with West Germany that triggered mass protests by Jews angered at the idea that Israel could accept monetary compensation for the Holocaust.[208]

Arab–Israeli conflict

During the 1950s, Israel was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, nearly always against civilians,[209] mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip,[210] leading to several Israeli reprisal operations. In 1956, the United Kingdom and France aimed at regaining control of the Suez Canal, which the Egyptians had nationalized. The continued blockade of the Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, together with the growing amount of Fedayeen attacks against Israel's southern population, and recent Arab grave and threatening statements, prompted Israel to attack Egypt.[211][212][213] Israel joined a secret alliance with the United Kingdom and France and overran the Sinai Peninsula but was pressured to withdraw by the UN in return for guarantees of Israeli shipping rights in the Red Sea via the Straits of Tiran and the Canal.[214][215][216] The war, known as the Suez Crisis, resulted in significant reduction of Israeli border infiltration.[217]

U.S. newsreel on the trial of Adolf Eichmann

In the early 1960s, Israel captured Nazi war criminal

Israeli civilian court.[220] During the spring and summer of 1963 Israel was engaged in a diplomatic standoff with the United States due to the Israeli nuclear programme.[221][222]

Since 1964, Arab countries, concerned over Israeli plans to divert waters of the

Arab nationalists led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser refused to recognize Israel and called for its destruction.[224][225][226] By 1966, Israeli-Arab relations had deteriorated to the point of actual battles taking place between Israeli and Arab forces.[227]

Territory held by Israel:
  before the Six-Day War
  after the war
The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1982.

In May 1967, Egypt massed its army near the border with Israel, expelled UN peacekeepers, stationed in the Sinai Peninsula since 1957, and blocked Israel's access to the Red Sea.[228][229][230] Other Arab states mobilized their forces.[231] Israel reiterated that these actions were a casus belli and, on 5 June, launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt. Jordan, Syria and Iraq responded and attacked Israel. In a Six-Day War, Israel captured and occupied the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria.[232] Jerusalem's boundaries were enlarged, incorporating East Jerusalem, and the 1949 Green Line became the administrative boundary between Israel and the occupied territories.[citation needed]

Following the 1967 war and the "

raid on the PLO headquarters in Lebanon
.

On 6 October 1973, as Jews were observing

an operation
in which 102 out of 106 Israeli hostages were successfully rescued.

Peace process

The

Anwar El Sadat made a trip to Israel and spoke before the Knesset in what was the first recognition of Israel by an Arab head of state.[240] In the two years that followed, Sadat and Begin signed the Camp David Accords (1978) and the Egypt–Israel peace treaty (1979).[241] In return, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula and agreed to enter negotiations over an autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[241]

On 11 March 1978, a PLO guerilla raid from Lebanon led to the Coastal Road massacre. Israel responded by launching an invasion of southern Lebanon to destroy the PLO bases south of the Litani River. Most PLO fighters withdrew, but Israel was able to secure southern Lebanon until a UN force and the Lebanese army could take over. The PLO soon resumed its policy of attacks against Israel. In the next few years, the PLO infiltrated the south and kept up a sporadic shelling across the border. Israel carried out numerous retaliatory attacks by air and on the ground.

Israel's 1980 law declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel".[242]

Meanwhile, Begin's government provided incentives for Israelis to

immigration from the post-Soviet states increased Israel's population by twelve percent.[248]

On 7 June 1981, during the

Defense minister Ariel Sharon as bearing "personal responsibility" for the massacre.[250] Sharon was forced to resign as Defense Minister.[251] In 1985, Israel responded to a Palestinian terrorist attack in Cyprus by bombing the PLO headquarters in Tunisia. Israel withdrew from most of Lebanon in 1986, but maintained a borderland buffer zone in southern Lebanon until 2000, from where Israeli forces engaged in conflict with Hezbollah. The First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule,[252] broke out in 1987, with waves of uncoordinated demonstrations and violence occurring in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Over the following six years, the Intifada became more organized and included economic and cultural measures aimed at disrupting the Israeli occupation. More than a thousand people were killed in the violence.[253] During the 1991 Gulf War, the PLO supported Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Scud missile attacks against Israel. Despite public outrage, Israel heeded American calls to refrain from hitting back and did not participate in that war.[254][255]

Shimon Peres (left) with Yitzhak Rabin (center) and King Hussein of Jordan (right), prior to signing the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994

In 1992,

better source needed] In 1994, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed, making Jordan the second Arab country to normalize relations with Israel.[260] Arab public support for the Accords was damaged by the continuation of Israeli settlements[261] and checkpoints, and the deterioration of economic conditions.[262] Israeli public support for the Accords waned as Israel was struck by Palestinian suicide attacks.[263] In November 1995, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated as he left a peace rally by Yigal Amir, a far-right Jew who opposed the Accords.[264]

During

Palestinian state. The proposed state included the entirety of the Gaza Strip and over 90% of the West Bank with Jerusalem as a shared capital.[268]
Each side blamed the other for the failure of the talks.

21st century

Rocket attacks fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, 2001-2021[269]

In late 2000, after a controversial visit by Likud leader

Suicide bombings were a recurrent feature of the Intifada, causing Israeli civilian life to become a battlefield.[270] Some commentators contend that the Intifada was pre-planned by Arafat due to the collapse of peace talks.[271][272][273][274] Sharon became prime minister in a 2001 special election. During his tenure, Sharon carried out his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and also spearheaded the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier,[275] ending the Intifada.[276] Between 2000 and 2008, 1,063 Israelis, 5,517 Palestinians and 64 foreign citizens had been killed.[277]

In 2006, a Hezbollah artillery assault on Israel's northern border communities and a

Second Lebanon War.[278][279] In 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria. In 2008, Israel entered another conflict as a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed. The 2008–2009 Gaza War lasted three weeks and ended after Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire.[280][281] Hamas announced its own ceasefire, with its own conditions of complete withdrawal and opening of border crossings. Despite neither the rocket launchings nor Israeli retaliatory strikes having completely stopped, the fragile ceasefire remained in order.[282] In what Israel described as a response to more than a hundred Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities,[283] Israel began an operation in the Gaza Strip in 2012, lasting eight days.[284] Israel started another operation in Gaza following an escalation of rocket attacks by Hamas in July 2014.[285] In May 2021, another round of fighting took place in Gaza and Israel, lasting eleven days.[286]

By the 2010s, the

Over 200 hostages, including elders, women, and children as young as 9 months, were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip.[288][289][290]

Geography and environment

Satellite images of Israel and neighboring territories during the day and night

Israel is located in the Levant area of the Fertile Crescent region. The country is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank to the east, and Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the southwest. It lies between latitudes 29° and 34° N, and longitudes 34° and 36° E.

The sovereign territory of Israel (according to the demarcation lines of the 1949 Armistice Agreements and excluding all territories captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War) is approximately 20,770 square kilometers (8,019 sq mi) in area, of which two percent is water.[291] However Israel is so narrow (100 km at its widest, compared to 400 km from north to south) that the exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean is double the land area of the country.[292] The total area under Israeli law, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, is 22,072 square kilometers (8,522 sq mi),[293] and the total area under Israeli control, including the military-controlled and partially Palestinian-governed territory of the West Bank, is 27,799 square kilometers (10,733 sq mi).[294]

Despite its small size, Israel is home to a variety of geographic features, from the

Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests, Southern Anatolian montane conifer and deciduous forests, Arabian Desert, and Mesopotamian shrub desert.[299] It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.14/10, ranking it 135th globally out of 172 countries.[300]

Israel's modern forests are all hand-planted. Since 1901, Israel's government reforestation program has planted over 260 million trees across Israel to replace the original "cedars of Lebanon" that were cut down long ago.[301][302][303]

Tectonics and seismicity

The Jordan Rift Valley is the result of tectonic movements within the Dead Sea Transform (DSF) fault system. The DSF forms the transform boundary between the African Plate to the west and the Arabian Plate to the east. The Golan Heights and all of Jordan are part of the Arabian Plate, while the Galilee, West Bank, Coastal Plain, and Negev along with the Sinai Peninsula are on the African Plate. This tectonic disposition leads to a relatively high seismic activity in the region. The entire Jordan Valley segment is thought to have ruptured repeatedly, for instance during the last two major earthquakes along this structure in 749 and 1033. The deficit in slip that has built up since the 1033 event is sufficient to cause an earthquake of Mw ~7.4.[304]

The most catastrophic known earthquakes occurred in 31 BCE,

363, 749, and 1033 CE, that is every ca. 400 years on average.[305] Destructive earthquakes leading to serious loss of life strike about every 80 years.[306] While stringent construction regulations are currently in place and recently built structures are earthquake-safe, as of 2007 the majority of the buildings in Israel were older than these regulations and many public buildings as well as 50,000 residential buildings did not meet the new standards and were "expected to collapse" if exposed to a strong earthquake.[306]

Climate

Köppen climate classification map of Israel and the Golan Heights

Temperatures in Israel vary widely, especially during the winter. Coastal areas, such as those of Tel Aviv and Haifa, have a typical Mediterranean climate with cool, rainy winters and long, hot summers. The area of Beersheba and the Northern Negev have a semi-arid climate with hot summers, cool winters, and fewer rainy days than the Mediterranean climate. The Southern Negev and the Arava areas have a desert climate with very hot, dry summers, and mild winters with few days of rain. The highest temperature in the world outside Africa and North America as of 2021, 54 °C (129 °F), was recorded in 1942 in the Tirat Zvi kibbutz in the northern Jordan River valley.[307][308]

At the other extreme, mountainous regions can be windy and cold, and areas at elevation of 750 metres (2,460 ft) or more (same elevation as Jerusalem) will usually receive at least one

better source needed] Israelis also take advantage of the considerable sunlight available for solar energy, making Israel the leading nation in solar energy use per capita—practically every house uses solar panels for water heating.[313]

The projections of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report show clearly the impacts of climate change on Israel even at 2 degrees of warming.

There are four different

phytogeographic regions in Israel, due to the country's location between the temperate and tropical zones, bordering the Mediterranean Sea in the west and the desert in the east. For this reason, the flora and fauna of Israel are extremely diverse. There are 2,867 known species of plants found in Israel. Of these, at least 253 species are introduced and non-native.[314] There are 380 Israeli nature reserves.[315]

The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection has reported that climate change "will have a decisive impact on all areas of life, including: water, public health, agriculture, energy, biodiversity, coastal infrastructure, economics, nature, national security, and geostrategy", and will have the greatest effect on vulnerable populations such as the poor, the elderly, and the chronically ill.[316]

Demographics

Population pyramid of Israel

Israel hosts the largest Jewish population in the world and is the only country where Jews comprise the majority of the population.

African migrants had entered Israel.[320] About 93% of Israelis live in urban areas.[321] 90% of Palestinian Israelis reside in 139 densely populated towns and villages concentrated in the Galilee, Triangle and Negev regions, with the remaining 10% in mixed cities and neighbourhoods.[322][323][324][325][326] Data published by the OECD in 2016 estimated the average life expectancy of Israelis at 82.5 years, making it the 6th-highest in the world.[327] Israeli Arab life expectancy lags behind by 3 to 4 years,[328][329] still higher than almost every majority Arab or Muslim country in the world.[330][331]

Immigration to Israel
in the years 1948–2015. The two peaks were in 1949 and 1990.

Israel was established as a

Israeli citizenship.[332] Retention of Israel's population since 1948 is about even or greater, when compared to other countries with mass immigration.[333] Jewish emigration from Israel (called yerida in Hebrew), primarily to the United States and Canada, is described by demographers as modest,[334] but is often cited by Israeli government ministries as a major threat to Israel's future.[335][336]

Approximately 80% of

Russian descendants of Jewish origin or family who are not Jewish according to rabbinical law, but were eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.[342][343][344]

The total number of

Israeli Arabs (including the Arab population of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights) comprise 21.1% of the population or 1,995,000 people.[349] In a 2017 telephone poll, 40% of Arab citizens of Israel identified as "Arab in Israel" or "Arab citizen of Israel", 15% identified as "Palestinian", 8.9% as "Palestinian in Israel" or "Palestinian citizen of Israel", and 8.7% as "Arab"; 60% of Israeli Arabs have a positive view of the state.[350][351] According to Sammy Smooha, "The identity of 83.0% of the Arabs in 2019 (up from 75.5% in 2017) has an Israeli component and 61.9% (unchanged from 60.3%) has a Palestinian component. However, when these two components were presented as competitors, 69.0% of the Arabs in 2019 chose exclusive or primary Palestinian identity, compared with 29.8% who chose exclusive or primary Israeli Arab identity."[352]

Major urban areas

Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area

Israel has four major metropolitan areas:

Jerusalem metropolitan area (population 1,253,900), Haifa metropolitan area (population 924,400), and Beersheba metropolitan area (population 377,100).[353]

Israel's largest municipality, in population and area, is Jerusalem with 966,210 residents in an area of 125 square kilometres (48 sq mi).[354] Israeli government statistics on Jerusalem include the population and area of East Jerusalem, the status of which is in international dispute, with Israel claiming it as part of its sovereign territory, while some countries consider it to be occupied Palestinian territory.[355] Tel Aviv and Haifa rank as Israel's next most populous cities, with populations of 467,875 and 282,832, respectively.[354] The (mainly

Haredi) city of Bnei Brak is the most densely populated city in Israel and one of the 10 most densely populated cities in the world.[356]

Israel has 16

planned city to be built in the Negev, and Harish, originally a small town that is being built into a large city since 2015.[359]

^a This number includes East Jerusalem and West Bank areas, which had a total population of 573,330 inhabitants in 2019.[360] Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is internationally unrecognized.

Language

Road sign in Hebrew, Arabic, and English

Israel's sole official language is Hebrew. Until 2018, Arabic was also one of two official languages of the State of Israel;[8] in 2018 it was downgraded to having a 'special status in the state' with its use by state institutions to be set in law.[9][10] Hebrew is the primary language of the state and is spoken every day by the majority of the population. Arabic is spoken by the Arab minority, with Hebrew taught in Arab schools.

As a country of

better source needed
]

Religion

Religion in Israel (2016)[370]

  JudaismHiloni (33.1%)
  Judaism–Masorti (24.3%)
  Judaism–Dati (8.8%)
  Judaism–Haredi (7.3%)
  Islam (18.1%)
  Christianity (1.9%)
  Druze (1.6%)
  Others and unclassified (4.8%)

Israel comprises a major part of the Holy Land, a region of significant importance to all Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Samaritanism, the Druze Faith and the Baháʼí Faith.

The religious affiliation of the Israeli population as of 2022 was 73.6% Jewish, 18.1% Muslim, 1.9% Christian, and 1.6% Druze. The remaining 4.8% included faiths such as Samaritanism and Baháʼí, as well as "religiously unclassified".[371]

The

Dati (religious) and 9% as Haredi (ultra-Orthodox).[372] Haredi Jews are expected to represent more than 20% of Israel's Jewish population by 2028.[373]

immigrants from the former Soviet Union, about 300,000 are considered not Jewish by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.[376]

A large open area with people bounded by old stone walls. To the left is a mosque with large golden dome.
The Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall, Jerusalem

The city of

Upper Nazareth.[381][382]

Education

Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University

Education is highly valued in the Israeli culture and was viewed as a fundamental block of ancient Israelites.[383] Jewish communities in the Levant were the first to introduce compulsory education for which the organized community, not less than the parents was responsible.[384] Many international business leaders such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates have praised Israel for its high quality of education in helping spur Israel's economic development and technological boom.[385][386][387] In 2015, the country ranked third among OECD members (after Canada and Japan) for the percentage of 25–64 year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 49% compared with the OECD average of 35%.[388] In 2012, the country ranked third in the world in the number of academic degrees per capita (20 percent of the population).[389]

Israel has a

Bagrut matriculation exams. Proficiency in core subjects such as mathematics, the Hebrew language, Hebrew and general literature, the English language, history, Biblical scripture and civics is necessary to receive a Bagrut certificate.[392]

Israel's Jewish population maintains a relatively high level of educational attainment where just under half of all Israeli Jews (46%) hold post-secondary degrees. This figure has remained stable in their already high levels of educational attainment over recent generations.

former Soviet Union, the bagrut pass rate is higher amongst those families from European FSU states at 62.6% and lower amongst those from Central Asian and Caucasian FSU states.[401] In 2020, 68.7% of all Israeli twelfth graders earned a matriculation certificate.[402]

Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Israel has a tradition of higher education where its quality university education has been largely responsible in spurring the nation's modern economic development.

Technion,[406][407] houses the National Library of Israel, the world's largest repository of Judaica and Hebraica.[408] The Technion and the Hebrew University consistently ranked among world's 100 top universities by the prestigious ARWU academic ranking.[409] Other major universities in the country include the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, the University of Haifa and the Open University of Israel. Ariel University, in the West Bank
, is the newest university institution, upgraded from college status, and the first in over thirty years.

Government and politics

Political system of Israel
The Knesset chamber, home to the Israeli parliament

Israel has a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. A member of parliament supported by a parliamentary majority becomes the prime minister—usually this is the chair of the largest party. The prime minister is the head of government and head of the cabinet.[410][411]

Israel is governed by a 120-member parliament, known as the

better source needed] with a 3.25% electoral threshold, which in practice has resulted in coalition governments. Residents of Israeli settlements in the West Bank are eligible to vote[413] and after the 2015 election, 10 of the 120 members of the Knesset (8%) were settlers.[414] Parliamentary elections are scheduled every four years, but unstable coalitions or a no-confidence vote by the Knesset can dissolve a government earlier.[27] The first Arab-led party was established in 1988[415] and as of 2022, Arab-led parties hold about 10% of the parliament's seats.[416]

The

constitution based on these laws.[291][418]

The president of Israel is head of state, with limited and largely ceremonial duties.[410]

Israel has no official religion,[419][420][421] but the definition of the state as "Jewish and democratic" creates a strong connection with Judaism, as well as a conflict between state law and religious law. Interaction between the political parties keeps the balance between state and religion largely as it existed during the British Mandate.[422]

On 19 July 2018, the Knesset passed a Basic Law that characterizes the State of Israel as principally a "Nation State of the Jewish People", and Hebrew as its official language. The bill ascribes "special status" to the Arabic language. The same bill gives Jews a unique right to national self-determination, and views the developing of Jewish settlement in the country as "a national interest", empowering the government to "take steps to encourage, advance and implement this interest."[423]

Legal system

Supreme Court of Israel, Givat Ram, Jerusalem

Israel has a

High Court of Justice. In the latter role, the Supreme Court rules as a court of first instance, allowing individuals, both citizens and non-citizens, to petition against the decisions of state authorities.[424]

Israel's legal system combines three legal traditions:

Enclave law", large portions of Israeli civil law are applied to Israeli settlements and Israeli residents in the occupied territories.[427]

Administrative divisions

The State of Israel is divided into six main administrative districts, known as mehozot (Hebrew: מחוזות; singular: mahoz) – Center, Haifa, Jerusalem, North, South, and Tel Aviv districts, as well as the Judea and Samaria Area in the West Bank. All of the Judea and Samaria Area and parts of the Jerusalem and Northern districts are not recognized internationally as part of Israel. Districts are further divided into fifteen sub-districts known as nafot (Hebrew: נפות; singular: nafa), which are themselves partitioned into fifty natural regions.[428]

District Capital Largest city Population, 2021[346]
Jews Arabs Total note
Jerusalem Jerusalem 66% 32% 1,209,700 a
North Nof HaGalil Nazareth 42% 54% 1,513,600
Haifa Haifa 67% 25% 1,092,700
Center Ramla Rishon LeZion 87% 8% 2,304,300
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv 92% 2% 1,481,400
South Beersheba Ashdod 71% 22% 1,386,000
Judea and Samaria Area
Ariel
Modi'in Illit 98% 0% 465,400 b
^a Including 361,700 Arabs and 233,900 Jews in East Jerusalem, as of 2020.[347]
^b Israeli citizens only.

Israeli-occupied territories

Overview of administration and sovereignty in Israel and the Palestinian territories
Area Administered by Recognition of governing authority Sovereignty claimed by Recognition of claim
Gaza Strip Palestinian National Authority (de jure) Controlled by Hamas (de facto) Witnesses to the Oslo II Accord State of Palestine 139 UN member states
West Bank Palestinian enclaves (Areas A and B) Palestinian National Authority and Israeli military
Area C Israeli enclave law (Israeli settlements) and Israeli military (Palestinians under Israeli occupation)
East Jerusalem Israeli administration Honduras, Guatemala, Nauru, and the United States China, Russia
West Jerusalem Russia, Czech Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Nauru, and the United States United Nations as an international city along with East Jerusalem Various UN member states and the European Union; joint sovereignty also widely supported
Golan Heights United States Syria All UN member states except the United States
Israel (proper) 164 UN member states Israel 164 UN member states
Map of Israel showing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights

In 1967, as a result of the

Security Belt. Since Israel's capture of these territories, Israeli settlements
and military installations have been built within each of them, except Lebanon.

The

status of East Jerusalem in any future peace settlement has at times been a difficult issue in negotiations
between Israeli governments and representatives of the Palestinians, as Israel views it as its sovereign territory, as well as part of its capital.

Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier built by Israel along the Green Line and inside parts of the West Bank.

The West Bank excluding East Jerusalem is known in Israeli law as the

cities have been under the internal jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and only partial Israeli military control, although Israel has on several occasions redeployed its troops and reinstated full military administration during periods of unrest. In response to increasing attacks during the Second Intifada, the Israeli government started to construct the Israeli West Bank barrier.[436] When completed, approximately 13% of the barrier will be constructed on the Green Line or in Israel with 87% inside the West Bank.[437][438]

Israel's claim of universal suffrage has been questioned due to its blurred territorial boundaries and its simultaneous extension of voting rights to Israeli settlers in the occupied territories and denial of voting rights to their Palestinian neighbours. The claim has also been challenged due to the alleged ethnocratic nature of the state.[439][440]

under Oslo Accords
, in blue and red, in December 2011

The Gaza Strip is considered to be a "foreign territory" under Israeli law; Israel, along with Egypt operates a land, air, and sea

border with Egypt, and an agreement between Israel, the European Union, and the PA governed how border crossing would take place (it was monitored by European observers).[447] The application of democracy to its Palestinian citizens, and the selective application of Israeli democracy in the Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories, has been criticized.[448][449]

International opinion

The

excessive detail?
]

The international community widely regards Israeli settlements in the occupied territories illegal under international law.[481] United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, passed on 23 December 2016 in a 14–0 vote by members of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) with the United States abstaining. The resolution states that Israel's settlement activity constitutes a "flagrant violation" of international law, has "no legal validity" and demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.[482] A United Nations special rapporteur concluded that settlement program was a war crime under the Rome Statute,[483] and Amnesty International found that the settlement program constitutes an illegal transfer of civilians into occupied territory as well as amounting to "pillage", which is prohibited by both the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions as well as being a war crime under the Rome Statute.[484]

Apartheid accusations

Israel's treatment of the Palestinians within the occupied territories have drawn widespread

B'tselem, along with other international human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, with the criticism extending to its treatment of Palestinians within Israel as well.[489][490] Amnesty's report was criticised by politicians and representatives from Israel, the United States,[491] the United Kingdom,[492] the European Commission,[493] Australia,[494] Netherlands[495] and Germany,[496] while it was welcomed by Palestinians,[497] representatives from other states, and organizations such as the Arab League.[498] In 2022, Michael Lynk, a Canadian law professor appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council said that the situation met the legal definition of apartheid.[499] Subsequent reports from his successor, Francesca Albanese and from Permanent United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Israel Palestine conflict chair Navi Pillay echoed the opinion that Israel was committing the crime of apartheid.[500][501]

Foreign relations

  Diplomatic relations
  Diplomatic relations suspended
  Former diplomatic relations
  No diplomatic relations, but former trade relations
  No diplomatic relations

Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 164 

1994, respectively, but Israel remains formally in a state of war with Syria, a status that dates back uninterrupted to 1948. It has been in a similarly formal state of war with Lebanon since the end of the Lebanese Civil War
in 2000, with the Israel–Lebanon border remaining unagreed by treaty.

In late 2020, Israel normalized relations with four more Arab countries: the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September (known as the

2008–09 Gaza War, Mauritania, Qatar, Bolivia, and Venezuela suspended political and economic ties with Israel,[511] though Bolivia renewed ties in 2019.[512] China maintains good ties with both Israel and the Arab world.[513]

Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat at the signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords with then US President Bill Clinton

The

reparations to the Israeli state and individual Israeli Holocaust survivors.[524] Israel is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.[525]

Although Turkey and Israel did not establish full diplomatic relations until 1991,[526] Turkey has cooperated with the Jewish state since its recognition of Israel in 1949. Turkey's ties to other Muslim-majority nations in the region have at times resulted in pressure from Arab and Muslim states to temper its relationship with Israel.[527] Relations between Turkey and Israel took a downturn after the 2008–09 Gaza War and Israel's raid of the Gaza flotilla.[528] Relations between Greece and Israel have improved since 1995 due to the decline of Israeli–Turkish relations.[529] The two countries have a defense cooperation agreement and in 2010, the Israeli Air Force hosted Greece's Hellenic Air Force in a joint exercise at the Uvda base. The joint Cyprus-Israel oil and gas explorations centered on the Leviathan gas field are an important factor for Greece, given its strong links with Cyprus.[530] Cooperation in the world's longest subsea electric power cable, the EuroAsia Interconnector, has strengthened relations between Cyprus and Israel.[531]

Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia.[537] Ethiopia is Israel's main ally in Africa due to common political, religious and security interests.[538] Israel provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects and thousands of Ethiopian Jews live in Israel
.

Foreign aid

Israel has a history of providing emergency

ranks low among OECD nations, spending less than 0.1% of its GNI on development assistance.[551] The UN has set a target of 0.7%. In 2015 six nations reached the UN target.[552] The country ranked 38th in the 2018 World Giving Index.[553]

Military

F-35 fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force

The

Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Cabinet. The IDF consists of the army, air force and navy. It was founded during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War by consolidating paramilitary organizations—chiefly the Haganah—that preceded the establishment of the state.[554] The IDF also draws upon the resources of the Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman), which works with Mossad and Shabak.[555] The Israel Defense Forces have been involved in several major wars and border conflicts in its short history, making it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world.[556]

Most Israelis are

exemption of yeshiva students has been a source of contention in Israeli society for many years.[558][559] An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is Sherut Leumi, or national service, which involves a programme of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks.[560] A small minority of Israeli Arabs also volunteer to serve in the army.[561] As a result of its conscription programme, the IDF maintains approximately 176,500 active troops and an additional 465,000 reservists, giving Israel one of the world's highest percentage of citizens with military training.[562]

Iron Dome is the world's first operational anti-artillery rocket defense system.

The nation's military relies heavily on high-tech

reconnaissance satellites.[568] The success of the Ofeq programme has made Israel one of seven countries capable of launching such satellites.[569]

Israel is widely believed to

Iraqi Scud missiles, all homes in Israel are required to have a reinforced security room, Merkhav Mugan, impermeable to chemical and biological substances.[575]

Since Israel's establishment, military expenditure constituted a significant portion of the country's

by total military expenditure, with $24.3 billion, and 6th by defense spending as a percentage of GDP, with 5.2%.[577] Since 1974, the United States has been a particularly notable contributor of military aid to Israel.[578] Under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2016, the U.S. is expected to provide the country with $3.8 billion per year, or around 20% of Israel's defense budget, from 2018 to 2028.[579] Israel ranked 9th globally for arms exports in 2022.[580] The majority of Israel's arms exports are unreported for security reasons.[581] Israel is consistently rated low in the Global Peace Index, ranking 134th out of 163 nations for peacefulness in 2022.[582]

Economy

The Diamond Exchange District in Ramat Gan
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Israel is considered the most advanced country in

university education and the establishment of a highly motivated and educated populace is largely responsible for spurring the country's high technology boom and rapid economic development.[385] In 2010, it joined the OECD.[32][591] The country is ranked 20th in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report[592] and 35th on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index.[593] Israel was also ranked fifth in the world by share of people in high-skilled employment.[594] Israeli economic data covers the economic territory of Israel, including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[432]

Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the

foreign-exchange reserves, the 17th highest in the world.[291] Since the 1970s, Israel has received military aid from the United States, as well as economic assistance in the form of loan guarantees, which now account for roughly half of Israel's external debt. Israel has one of the lowest external debts in the developed world, and is a lender in terms of net external debt (assets vs. liabilities abroad), which in 2015 stood at a surplus of $69 billion.[595]

Israel has the second-largest number of

Iscar for $4 billion, its first acquisition outside the United States.[605]

The days which are allocated to working times in Israel are Sunday through Thursday (for a five-day

workweek), or Friday (for a six-day workweek). In observance of Shabbat, in places where Friday is a work day and the majority of population is Jewish, Friday is a "short day", usually lasting until 14:00 in the winter, or 16:00 in the summer. Several proposals have been raised to adjust the work week with the majority of the world, and make Sunday a non-working day, while extending working time of other days or replacing Friday with Sunday as a work day.[606]

Science and technology

Matam high-tech park in Haifa

Israel's development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have

In 2012, Israel was ranked ninth in the world by the Futron's Space Competitiveness Index.[621] The Israel Space Agency coordinates all Israeli space research programmes with scientific and commercial goals, and have indigenously designed and built at least 13 commercial, research and spy satellites.[622] Some of Israel's satellites are ranked among the world's most advanced space systems.[623] Shavit is a space launch vehicle produced by Israel to launch small satellites into low Earth orbit.[624] It was first launched in 1988, making Israel the eighth nation to have a space launch capability. In 2003, Ilan Ramon became Israel's first astronaut, serving as payload specialist of STS-107, the fatal mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia.[625]

The ongoing shortage of

desalination facility in the world.[626] By 2014, Israel's desalination programmes provided roughly 35% of Israel's drinking water and it is expected to supply 40% by 2015 and 70% by 2050.[627] As of 2015, more than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is artificially produced.[628] The country hosts an annual Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition & Conference (WATEC) that attracts thousands of people from across the world.[629][630] In 2011, Israel's water technology industry was worth around $2 billion a year with annual exports of products and services in the tens of millions of dollars. As a result of innovations in reverse osmosis technology, Israel is set to become a net exporter of water in the coming years.[631]

A horizontal parabolic dish, with a triangular structure on its top.
The world's largest solar parabolic dish at the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center[632]

Israel has embraced

electric car infrastructure involving a countrywide network of charging stations to facilitate the charging and exchange of car batteries. It was thought that this would have lowered Israel's oil dependency and lowered the fuel costs of hundreds of Israel's motorists that use cars powered only by electric batteries.[638][639][640] The Israeli model was being studied by several countries and being implemented in Denmark and Australia.[641] However, Israel's trailblazing electric car company Better Place shut down in 2013.[642]

Energy

Israel began producing natural gas from its own offshore gas fields in 2004. Between 2005 and 2012, Israel had imported gas from Egypt via the al-

Egyptian Crisis of 2011–14. In 2009, a natural gas reserve, Tamar, was found near the coast of Israel. A second natural gas reserve, Leviathan, was discovered in 2010.[643] The natural gas reserves in these two fields (Leviathan has around 19 trillion cubic feet) could make Israel energy secure for more than 50 years. In 2013, Israel began commercial production of natural gas from the Tamar field. As of 2014, Israel produced over 7.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year.[644] Israel had 199 billion cubic meters (bcm) of proven reserves of natural gas as of the start of 2016.[645] The Leviathan gas field started production in 2019.[646]

gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year.[647] In the next twenty years, the field will spare the production of some 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.[648] The field was inaugurated on 15 June 2011.[649] On 22 May 2012 Arava Power Company announced that it had reached financial close on an additional 58.5 MW for 8 projects to be built in the Arava and the Negev valued at 780 million NIS or approximately $204 million.[650]

Transport

Ben Gurion International Airport

Israel has a modern transport system. The country has 19,224 kilometres (11,945 mi) of paved roads,[651] and 3 million motor vehicles.[652] The number of motor vehicles per 1,000 persons is 365, relatively low with respect to developed countries.[652] Israel has 5,715 buses on scheduled routes,[653] operated by several carriers, the largest and oldest of which is Egged, serving most of the country.[654] Railways stretch across 1,277 kilometres (793 mi) and are operated solely by government-owned Israel Railways.[655] Following major investments beginning in the early to mid-1990s, the number of train passengers per year has grown from 2.5 million in 1990, to 53 million in 2015; railways are also transporting 7.5 million tons of cargo, per year.[655]

Israel is served by three international

Ashdod Port; and the smaller Port of Eilat on the Red Sea
.

Tourism

Ein Bokek resort on the shore of the Dead Sea

Tourism, especially religious tourism, is an important industry in Israel, with the country's temperate climate, beaches, archaeological, other historical and biblical sites, and unique geography also drawing tourists. Israel's security problems have taken their toll on the industry, but the number of incoming tourists is on the rebound.[657] In 2017, a record of 3.6 million tourists visited Israel, yielding a 25 percent growth since 2016 and contributed NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy.[658][659][660][661]

Real estate

Housing prices in Israel are listed in the top third,[662] with an average of 150 salaries required to buy an apartment.[663] As of 2022, there are about 2.7 million properties in Israel, with an annual increase of more than 50,000.[664] However, the demand for housing exceeds supply, with a shortage of about 200,000 apartments as of 2021,[665] and thus rising house prices. As a result, by 2021 housing prices rose by 5.6%.[666] High prices do not stop Israelis from buying properties. In 2021, Israelis took a record of NIS 116.1 billion in mortgages, an increase of 50% from 2020.[667]

Culture

Israel's diverse culture stems from the diversity of its population. Jews from diaspora communities around the world brought their cultural and religious traditions back with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs.

Jewish holidays, and the official day of rest is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.[674]

Literature

Shmuel Yosef Agnon, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Israeli literature is primarily poetry and prose written in Hebrew, as part of the renaissance of Hebrew as a spoken language since the mid-19th century, although a small body of literature is published in other languages, such as English. By law, two copies of all printed matter published in Israel must be deposited in the National Library of Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2001, the law was amended to include audio and video recordings, and other non-print media.[675] In 2016, 89 percent of the 7,300 books transferred to the library were in Hebrew.[676]

In 1966, Shmuel Yosef Agnon shared the Nobel Prize in Literature with German Jewish author Nelly Sachs.[677] Leading Israeli poets have been Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, and Rachel Bluwstein.[678] Internationally famous contemporary Israeli novelists include Amos Oz, Etgar Keret and David Grossman.[679][680] Israel has been the home of Emile Habibi, whose novel The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist, and other writings, won him the Israel prize for Arabic literature.[681][682]

Music and dance

Several dozen musicians in formal dress, holding their instruments, behind a conductor
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta

Israeli music contains musical influences from all over the world; Mizrahi and Sephardic music, Hasidic melodies, Greek music, jazz, and pop rock are all part of the music scene.[683][684] Among Israel's world-renowned orchestras is the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,[685][686] which has been in operation for over seventy years and today performs more than two hundred concerts each year.[687] Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Ofra Haza are among the internationally acclaimed musicians born in Israel. Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nearly every year since 1973, winning the competition four times and hosting it twice.[688][689] Eilat has hosted its own international music festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival, every summer since 1987.[690] The nation's canonical folk songs, known as "Songs of the Land of Israel", deal with the experiences of the pioneers in building the Jewish homeland.[691]

Cinema and theatre

Ten Israeli films

Mohammed Bakri's 2002 film Jenin, Jenin and The Syrian Bride
.

Continuing the strong theatrical traditions of the

repertory theater company and national theater.[693] The Ohel theatre, the Cameri and Gesher theatre all played important roles during different stages of Israel's cultural development.[694][695]

The arts

Although Israel's role in the world art scene has been relatively minor, Israel has several unique artistic traditions. Israeli Jewish art has been particularly influenced by the Kabbalah, the Talmud and the Zohar. Another art movement that held a prominent role in the 20th century was the School of Paris. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Yishuv's art was dominated by art trends emanating Bezalel. Beginning in the 1920s, the local art scene was heavily influenced by modern French art, first introduced by Isaac Frenkel.[696][697] Jewish masters of the school of Paris (École de Paris), such as Soutine, Kikoine, Frenkel, Chagall heavily influenced the subsequent development of Israeli art.[698][699]

Common themes in Israeli art are the mystical cities of

Optical art, AI art, digital art and the use of salt in sculpture.[699]

Architecture

Bauhaus Museum, Tel Aviv

Architecture in Israel is unique in the scope and diversity of architectural movements and fruitions of utopian plans in the 20th century. Due to the immigration of Jewish architects from different corners of the globe, architecture in Israel has come to reflect different styles. In the early 20th century Jewish architects sought to combine Occidental and Oriental architecture producing buildings that showcase a myriad of infused styles.

UNESCO heritage site thanks to its white international style buildings.[703] Following independence, multiple government projects were commissioned, a grand part built in a brutalist style with heavy emphasis on the use of concrete and the acclimatization to the Israel's desert climate.[704][705]

Several novel ideas such as the Garden City were implemented in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and more cities, the Geddes plan of Tel Aviv became renown internationally for its revolutionary design and adaptation to the local climate.[706] Furthermore, the design of kibbutzim also came to reflect ideology, such as the planning of the circular kibbutz Nahalal by Richard Kauffmann.[707] Today Israeli architecture continues to reflect world trends in architecture as well as the different backgrounds and heritage of Israeli architects.[708]

Media

The 2017

Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, Israel (including "Israel extraterritorial" since 2013 ranking)[710] was placed 91st of 180 countries, first in the Middle East and North Africa region.[711] Reporters Without Borders noted that "Palestinian journalists are systematically subjected to violence as a result of their coverage of events in the West Bank".[712] More than fifty Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israel since 2001.[713]

Museums

Shrine of the Book, repository of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem

The

ANU - Museum of the Jewish People on the campus of Tel Aviv University, is an interactive museum devoted to the history of Jewish communities around the world.[717] Apart from the major museums in large cities, there are high-quality art spaces in many towns and kibbutzim. Mishkan LeOmanut in kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad is the largest art museum in the north of the country.[718]

Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.

Galilee Man.[720] A cast of the skull is on display at the Israel Museum.[721]

Cuisine

A meal including falafel, hummus, French fries and Israeli salad

Ashkenazi styles of cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally eaten in the Levantine, Arab, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, such as falafel, hummus, shakshouka, couscous, and za'atar. Schnitzel, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, rice and salad
are common in Israel.

Roughly half of the Israeli-Jewish population attests to keeping

the influx of immigrants from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s.[725] Together with non-kosher fish, rabbits and ostriches, pork—often called "white meat" in Israel[725]—is produced and consumed, though it is forbidden by both Judaism and Islam.[726]

Sports

Maccabi Haifa F.C. fans at Sammy Ofer Stadium in the city of Haifa

The most popular spectator sports in Israel are

UEFA Cup quarter-finals. Israel hosted and won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup; in 1970 the Israel national football team qualified for the FIFA World Cup, the only time it participated in the World Cup. The 1974 Asian Games, held in Tehran, were the last Asian Games in which Israel participated, plagued by the Arab countries that refused to compete with Israel. Israel was excluded from the 1978 Asian Games and since then has not competed in Asian sport events.[729] In 1994, UEFA agreed to admit Israel, and its football teams now compete in Europe. Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. has won the European championship in basketball six times.[730] In 2016, the country was chosen as a host for the EuroBasket 2017
.

Israel has won nine Olympic medals since its first win in 1992, including a gold medal in windsurfing at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[731] Israel has won over 100 gold medals in the Paralympic Games and is ranked 20th in the all-time medal count. The 1968 Summer Paralympics were hosted by Israel.[732] The Maccabiah Games, an Olympic-style event for Jewish and Israeli athletes, was inaugurated in the 1930s, and has been held every four years since then. Israeli tennis champion Shahar Pe'er ranked 11th in the world on 31 January 2011.[733] Krav Maga, a martial art developed by Jewish ghetto defenders during the struggle against fascism in Europe, is used by the Israeli security forces and police. Its effectiveness and practical approach to self-defense, have won it widespread admiration and adherence around the world.[734]

Boris Gelfand, chess Grandmaster

Chess is a leading sport in Israel and is enjoyed by people of all ages. There are many Israeli grandmasters and Israeli chess players have won a number of youth world championships.[735] Israel stages an annual international championship and hosted the World Team Chess Championship in 2005. The Ministry of Education and the World Chess Federation agreed upon a project of teaching chess within Israeli schools, and it has been introduced into the curriculum of some schools.[736] The city of Beersheba has become a national chess center, with the game being taught in the city's kindergartens. Owing partly to Soviet immigration, it is home to the largest number of chess grandmasters of any city in the world.[737][738] The Israeli chess team won the silver medal at the 2008 Chess Olympiad[739] and the bronze, coming in third among 148 teams, at the 2010 Olympiad. Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand won the Chess World Cup 2009[740] and the 2011 Candidates Tournament for the right to challenge the world champion. He lost the World Chess Championship 2012 to reigning world champion Anand after a speed-chess tie breaker.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Recognition by other UN member states: Russia (West Jerusalem),[1] the Czech Republic (West Jerusalem),[2] Honduras,[3] Guatemala,[4] Nauru,[5] and the United States.[6]
  2. ^ Jerusalem is Israel's largest city if including East Jerusalem, which is widely recognized as occupied territory.[7]
  3. better source needed] In 2018 its classification was changed to a 'special status in the state' with its use by state institutions to be set in law.[9][10]
  4. ^ a b c d Israeli population and economic data covers the economic territory of Israel, including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[432][433]
  5. ^ The Jerusalem Law states that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel" and the city serves as the seat of the government, home to the President's residence, government offices, supreme court, and parliament. United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 (20 August 1980; 14–0, U.S. abstaining) declared the Jerusalem Law "null and void" and called on member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem.[21] See Status of Jerusalem for more information.
  6. ^ Tens of thousands of Jews in Arab countries left their homes because of the 1948 war as well, pushed by a combination of antisemitic feeling and legislation, religious feeling, Zionist activity, economic factors, the end of colonial rule, and other reasons. The decision to leave varied by circumstance, as well as by country and social class. Approximately 260,000 Jews from the Arab world moved to Israel during and immediately after the war.[24]
  7. ^ The personal name "Israel" appears much earlier, in material from Ebla.[62]
  1. ^ According to Rabbinic literature, it was 210 years https://www.xn----2hcm6cgyhbh.com/2012/01/bo-yeladim.html

Citations

  1. ^ "Foreign Ministry statement regarding Palestinian-Israeli settlement". www.mid.ru. 6 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Czech Republic announces it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel's capital". The Jerusalem Post. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017. The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967." The Ministry also said that it would only consider relocating its embassy based on "results of negotiations.
  3. ^ "Honduras recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital". The Times of Israel. 29 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Guatemala se suma a EEUU y también trasladará su embajada en Israel a Jerusalén" [Guatemala joins US, will also move embassy to Jerusalem]. Infobae (in Spanish). 24 December 2017. Guatemala's embassy was located in Jerusalem until the 1980s, when it was moved to Tel Aviv.
  5. ^ "Nauru recognizes J'lem as capital of Israel". Israel National News. 29 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move". The New York Times. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  7. ^ The Legal Status of East Jerusalem (PDF), Norwegian Refugee Council, December 2013, pp. 8, 29
  8. ^ a b "Arabic in Israel: an official language and a cultural bridge". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Israel Passes 'National Home' Law, Drawing Ire of Arabs". The New York Times. 19 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b Lubell, Maayan (19 July 2018). "Israel adopts divisive Jewish nation-state law". Reuters.
  11. ^ a b Population of Israel on the Eve of 2023 (Report). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 29 December 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Israel". Central Intelligence Agency. 27 February 2023. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2023 – via CIA.gov.
  13. ^ "Israel country profile". BBC News. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Surface water and surface water change". OECD.Stat. OECD. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Home page". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  16. ^ Population Census 2008 (PDF) (Report). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2023 Edition. (Israel)". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. 10 October 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  18. ^ "Income inequality". OECD Data. OECD. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  20. ^ Akram, Susan M., Michael Dumper, Michael Lynk, and Iain Scobbie, eds. 2010. International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace. Routledge. p. 119: "UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended the creation of an international zone, or corpus separatum, in Jerusalem to be administered by the UN for a 10-year period, after which there would be a referendum to determine its future. This approach applies equally to West and East Jerusalem and is not affected by the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. To a large extent it is this approach that still guides the diplomatic behaviour of states and thus has greater force in international law."
  21. ^ Kellerman 1993, p. 140.
  22. ^ STAFF, TOI (13 September 2023). "Israeli population rises to 9.795 million on Rosh Hashanah eve". The Times of Israel.
  23. ^ "Zionism | Definition, History, Examples, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. 19 October 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  24. ^ a b Fischbach 2008, p. 26–27.
  25. S2CID 150208821
    . The mass immigration from Arab countries began in mid-1949 and included three communities that relocated to Israel almost in their entirety: 31,000 Jews from Libya, 50,000 from Yemen, and 125,000 from Iraq. Additional immigrants arrived from Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, India, and elsewhere. Within three years, the Jewish population of Israel doubled. The ethnic composition of the population shifted as well, as immigrants from Muslim counties and their offspring now comprised one third of the Jewish population—an unprecedented phenomenon in global immigration history. From 1952–60, Israel regulated and restricted immigration from Muslim countries with a selective immigration policy based on economic criteria, and sent these immigrants, most of whom were North African, to peripheral Israeli settlements. The selective immigration policy ended in 1961 when, following an agreement between Israel and Morocco, about 100,000 Jews immigrated to the State. From 1952–68 about 600,000 Jews arrived in Israel, three quarters of whom were from Arab countries and the remaining immigrants were largely from Eastern Europe. Today fewer than 30,000 remain in Muslim countries, mostly concentrated in Iran and Turkey.
  26. . Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  27. ^ a b "How Israel's electoral system works". CNN.com. CNN International. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  28. ^ Human Development Report 2021-22 (Report). United Nations. 8 September 2022.
  29. ^ "30 Countries with Highest GDP per Capita". Yahoo Finance. 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  30. ^ "Global Wealth Report". Credit Suisse. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  31. ^ "Israel to join prestigious OECD economic club". France 24. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  32. ^ a b "Israel's accession to the OECD". www.oecd.org. OECD. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  33. ^ "Top 15 Most Advanced Countries in the World". Yahoo Finance. 4 December 2022. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  34. ^ Getzoff, Marc (9 August 2023). "Most Technologically Advanced Countries In The World 2023". Global Finance Magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  35. ^ Noah Rayman (29 September 2014). "Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters". TIME. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Popular Opinion". The Palestine Post. Jerusalem. 7 December 1947. p. 1. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012.
  37. ^ One Day that Shook the world Archived 12 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine The Jerusalem Post, 30 April 1998, by Elli Wohlgelernter
  38. ^ "On the Move". Time. New York. 31 May 1948. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
  39. ^ Levine, Robert A. (7 November 2000). "See Israel as a Jewish Nation-State, More or Less Democratic". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  40. ^ Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 'Israel,' in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E–J,Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995 p. 907.
  41. ^ "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Genesis, 32:28, 35:10). See also Hosea 12:5.
  42. ^ "Israel as a Person, People, and Place". Bible Odyssey. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  43. ^ "Why the Angel Asks Jacob His Name". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  44. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/jacob-wrestling-his-angel-is-our-own-struggle-1.5285823Jacob wrestling his 'angel' is our own struggle, Sean Foley · Posted: Sep 17, 2019
  45. ^ Exodus 12:40–41
  46. ^ https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1790&context=auss THE DURATION OF THE ISRAELITE SOJOURN IN EGYPT PAUL J. RAY, JR. Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, Autumn 1986, Vol. 24, No. 3,231-248. Copyright @ 1986 by Andrews University Press.
  47. ^ Exodus 6:16–20
  48. ^ Barton & Bowden 2004, p. 126. "The Merneptah Stele ... is arguably the oldest evidence outside the Bible for the existence of Israel as early as the 13th century BCE."
  49. .
  50. ^ Rincon, Paul (14 October 2015). "Fossil teeth place humans in Asia '20,000 years early'". BBC News. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  51. S2CID 35814375
    . Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  52. ^ Steiglitz, Robert (1992). "Migrations in the Ancient Near East". Anthropological Science. 3 (101): 263. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  53. ^ Jonathan M Golden, Ancient Canaan and Israel: An Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2009 pp. 3–4.
  54. ^ "Canaanites". obo. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  55. , retrieved 1 December 2023
  56. .
  57. ^ Dever, William G. Beyond the Texts, Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2017, pp. 89–93
  58. ^ S. Richard, "Archaeological sources for the history of Palestine: The Early Bronze Age: The rise and collapse of urbanism", The Biblical Archaeologist (1987)
  59. S2CID 191385013
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  60. ^ K.L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion, A&C Black, 2012, rev.ed. pp. 137ff.
  61. ^ Thomas L. Thompson, Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources, Brill, 2000 pp. 275–276: 'They are rather a very specific group among the population of Palestine which bears a name that occurs here for the first time that at a much later stage in Palestine's history bears a substantially different signification.'
  62. . As a West Semitic personal name it existed long before it became a tribal or a geographical name. This is not without significance, though is it rarely mentioned. We learn of a maryanu named ysr"il (*Yi¡sr—a"ilu) from Ugarit living in the same period, but the name was already used a thousand years before in Ebla. The word Israel originated as a West Semitic personal name. One of the many names that developed into the name of the ancestor of a clan, of a tribe and finally of a people and a nation.
  63. .
  64. .
  65. ^ Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200–1000 BCE). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002) "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" (Eerdman's)
  66. ^ Rendsberg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5
  67. .
  68. ^ Killebrew 2005, p. 230.
  69. ^ Shahin 2005, p. 6.
  70. . After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible "historical figures" [...] archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit.
  71. ^ Faust 2015, p. 476: "While there is a consensus among scholars that the Exodus did not take place in the manner described in the Bible, surprisingly most scholars agree that the narrative has a historical core, and that some of the highland settlers came, one way or another, from Egypt.."
  72. ^ Redmount 2001, p. 61: "A few authorities have concluded that the core events of the Exodus saga are entirely literary fabrications. But most biblical scholars still subscribe to some variation of the Documentary Hypothesis, and support the basic historicity of the biblical narrative."
  73. . After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible "historical figures" [...] archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit.
  74. .
  75. .
  76. ^ .
  77. ^ Wright, Jacob L. (July 2014). "David, King of Judah (Not Israel)". The Bible and Interpretation. Archived from the original on 1 March 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  78. ^ Finkelstein, Israel, (2020). "Saul and Highlands of Benjamin Update: The Role of Jerusalem", in Joachim J. Krause, Omer Sergi, and Kristin Weingart (eds.), Saul, Benjamin, and the Emergence of Monarchy in Israel: Biblical and Archaeological Perspectives, SBL Press, Atlanta, GA, p. 48, footnote 57: "...They became territorial kingdoms later, Israel in the first half of the ninth century BCE and Judah in its second half..."
  79. ^ The Pitcher Is Broken: Memorial Essays for Gosta W. Ahlstrom, Steven W. Holloway, Lowell K. Handy, Continuum, 1 May 1995 Quote: "For Israel, the description of the battle of Qarqar in the Kurkh Monolith of Shalmaneser III (mid-ninth century) and for Judah, a Tiglath-pileser III text mentioning (Jeho-) Ahaz of Judah (IIR67 = K. 3751), dated 734–733, are the earliest published to date."
  80. ^ Finkelstein & Silberman 2002, pp. 146–7: Put simply, while Judah was still economically marginal and backward, Israel was booming. ... In the next chapter we will see how the northern kingdom suddenly appeared on the ancient Near Eastern stage as a major regional power.
  81. OCLC 949151323
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  82. .
  83. .
  84. .
  85. ^ a b Broshi, M., & Finkelstein, I. (1992). "The Population of Palestine in Iron Age II". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 287(1), 47–60.
  86. ^ Finkelstein & Silberman 2002, p. 307: "Intensive excavations throughout Jerusalem have shown that the city was indeed systematically destroyed by the Babylonians. The conflagration seems to have been general. When activity on the ridge of the City of David resumed in the Persian period, the-new suburbs on the western hill that had flourished since at least the time of Hezekiah were not reoccupied."
  87. ISSN 0334-4355
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  88. .
  89. ^ "British Museum – Cuneiform tablet with part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605–594 BCE)". Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  90. ^ "ABC 5 (Jerusalem Chronicle) – Livius". www.livius.org. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  91. ^ a b "Second Temple Period (538 BCE to 70 CE) Persian Rule". Biu.ac.il. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  92. ^ Harper's Bible Dictionary, ed. by Achtemeier, etc., Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985, p. 103
  93. .
  94. . The ensuing power struggle left Hyrcanus with a free hand in Judea, and he quickly reasserted Jewish sovereignty... Hyrcanus then engaged in a series of military campaigns aimed at territorial expansion. He first conquered areas in the Transjordan. He then turned his attention to Samaria, which had long separated Judea from the northern Jewish settlements in Lower Galilee. In the south, Adora and Marisa were conquered; (Aristobulus') primary accomplishment was annexing and Judaizing the region of Iturea, located between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains
  95. . The expansion of Hasmonean Judea took place gradually. Under Jonathan, Judea annexed southern Samaria and began to expand in the direction of the coast plain... The main ethnic changes were the work of John Hyrcanus... it was in his days and those of his son Aristobulus that the annexation of Idumea, Samaria and Galilee and the consolidation of Jewish settlement in Trans-Jordan was completed. Alexander Jannai, continuing the work of his predecessors, expanded Judean rule to the entire coastal plain, from the Carmel to the Egyptian border... and to additional areas in Trans-Jordan, including some of the Greek cities there.
  96. . From the beginning of the Second Temple period until the Muslim conquest—the land was part of imperial space. This was true from the early Persian period, as well as the time of Ptolemy and the Seleucids. The only exception was the Hasmonean Kingdom, with its sovereign Jewish rule—first over Judah and later, in Alexander Jannaeus's prime, extending to the coast, the north, and the eastern banks of the Jordan.
  97. ^ . The year 70 ce marked transformations in demography, politics, Jewish civic status, Palestinian and more general Jewish economic and social structures, Jewish religious life beyond the sacrificial cult, and even Roman politics and the topography of the city of Rome itself. [...] The Revolt's failure had, to begin with, a demographic impact on the Jews of Palestine; many died in battle and as a result of siege conditions, not only in Jerusalem. [...] As indicated above, the figures for captives are conceivably more reliable. If 97,000 is roughly correct as a total for the war, it would mean that a huge percentage of the population was removed from the country, or at the very least displaced from their homes. Nevertheless, only sixty years later, there was a large enough population in the Judaean countryside to stage a massively disruptive second rebellion; this one appears to have ended, in 135, with devastation and depopulation of the district.
  98. ^ Werner Eck, "Sklaven und Freigelassene von Römern in Iudaea und den angrenzenden Provinzen," Novum Testamentum 55 (2013): 1–21
  99. S2CID 245512193
    . Scholars have long doubted the historical accuracy of Cassius Dio's account of the consequences of the Bar Kokhba War (Roman History 69.14). According to this text, considered the most reliable literary source for the Second Jewish Revolt, the war encompassed all of Judea: the Romans destroyed 985 villages and 50 fortresses, and killed 580,000 rebels. This article reassesses Cassius Dio's figures by drawing on new evidence from excavations and surveys in Judea, Transjordan, and the Galilee. Three research methods are combined: an ethno-archaeological comparison with the settlement picture in the Ottoman Period, comparison with similar settlement studies in the Galilee, and an evaluation of settled sites from the Middle Roman Period (70–136CE). The study demonstrates the potential contribution of the archaeological record to this issue and supports the view of Cassius Dio's demographic data as a reliable account, which he based on contemporaneous documentation.
  100. ^ . Land confiscation in Judaea was part of the suppression of the revolt policy of the Romans and punishment for the rebels. But the very claim that the sikarikon laws were annulled for settlement purposes seems to indicate that Jews continued to reside in Judaea even after the Second Revolt. There is no doubt that this area suffered the severest damage from the suppression of the revolt. Settlements in Judaea, such as Herodion and Bethar, had already been destroyed during the course of the revolt, and Jews were expelled from the districts of Gophna, Herodion, and Aqraba. However, it should not be claimed that the region of Judaea was completely destroyed. Jews continued to live in areas such as Lod (Lydda), south of the Hebron Mountain, and the coastal regions. In other areas of the Land of Israel that did not have any direct connection with the Second Revolt, no settlement changes can be identified as resulting from it.
  101. ^ Oppenheimer, A'haron and Oppenheimer, Nili. Between Rome and Babylon: Studies in Jewish Leadership and Society. Mohr Siebeck, 2005, p. 2.
  102. , page 334: "In an effort to wipe out all memory of the bond between the Jews and the land, Hadrian changed the name of the province from Judaea to Syria-Palestina, a name that became common in non-Jewish literature."
  103. ^ Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. 4:6.3-4
  104. ^ . Jews probably remained in the majority in Palestine until some time after the conversion of Constantine in the fourth century. [...] In Babylonia, there had been for many centuries a Jewish community which would have been further strengthened by those fleeing the aftermath of the Roman revolts.
  105. .
  106. ^ Lehmann, Clayton Miles (18 January 2007). "Palestine". Encyclopedia of the Roman Provinces. University of South Dakota. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  107. ^ Judaism in late antiquity, Jacob Neusner, Bertold Spuler, Hady R Idris, Brill, 2001, p. 155
  108. ^ The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey 2018
  109. ^ .
  110. ^ . The Jewish community strove to recover from the catastrophic results of the Bar Kokhva revolt (132–135 CE). Although some of these attempts were relatively successful, the Jews never fully recovered. During the Late Roman and Byzantine periods, many Jews emigrated to thriving centres in the diaspora, especially Iraq, whereas some converted to Christianity and others continued to live in the Holy Land, especially in Galilee and the coastal plain. During the Byzantine period, the three provinces of Palestine included more than thirty cities, namely, settlements with a bishop see. After the Muslim conquest in the 630s, most of these cities declined and eventually disappeared. As a result, in many cases the local ecclesiastical administration weakened, while in others it simply ceased to exist. Consequently, many local Christians converted to Islam. Thus, almost twelve centuries later, when the army led by Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in the Holy Land, most of the local population was Muslim.
  111. . Few would disagree that, in the century and a half before our period begins, the Jewish population of Judah () suffered a serious blow from which it never recovered. The destruction of the Jewish metropolis of Jerusalem and its environs and the eventual refounding of the city... had lasting repercussions. [...] However, in other parts of Palestine the Jewish population remained strong [...] What does seem clear is a different kind of change. Immigration of Christians and the conversion of pagans, Samaritans and Jews eventually produced a Christian majority
  112. . The dominant view of the history of Palestine during the Byzantine period links the early phases of the consecration of the land during the fourth century and the substantial external financial investment that accompanied the building of churches on holy sites on the one hand with the Christianisation of the population on the other. Churches were erected primarily at the holy sites, 12 while at the same time Palestine's position and unique status as the Christian 'Holy Land' became more firmly rooted. All this, coupled with immigration and conversion, allegedly meant that the Christianisation of Palestine took place much more rapidly than that of other areas of the Roman empire, brought in its wake the annihilation of the pagan cults and meant that by the middle of the fifth century there was a clear Christian majority.
  113. .
  114. ^ "Roman Palestine". www.britannica.com. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  115. ^
    JSTOR 23407269
    .
  116. ^ . From the data given above it can be concluded that the Muslim population of Central Samaria, during the early Muslim period, was not an autochthonous population which had converted to Christianity. They arrived there either by way of migration or as a result of a process of sedentarization of the nomads who had filled the vacuum created by the departing Samaritans at the end of the Byzantine period [...] To sum up: in the only rural region in Palestine in which, according to all the written and archeological sources, the process of Islamization was completed already in the twelfth century, there occurred events consistent with the model propounded by Levtzion and Vryonis: the region was abandoned by its original sedentary population and the vacuum was apparently filled by nomads who, at a later stage, gradually became sedentarized
  117. .
  118. .
  119. ^ "crusades". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
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  121. ^ Joel Rappel, History of Eretz Israel from Prehistory up to 1882 (1980), vol. 2, p. 531. "In 1662 Sabbathai Sevi arrived to Jerusalem. It was the time when the Jewish settlements of Galilee were destroyed by the Druze: Tiberias was completely desolate and only a few of former Safed residents had returned...."
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  124. ^ Rosenzweig 1997, p. 1. "Zionism, the urge of the Jewish people to return to Palestine, is almost as ancient as the Jewish diaspora itself. Some Talmudic statements ... Almost a millennium later, the poet and philosopher Yehuda Halevi ... In the 19th century ..."
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  135. ^ Romano 2003, p. 30.
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  167. ^ Morris 2008, p. 75: "The night of 29–30 November passed in the Yishuv's settlements in noisy public rejoicing. Most had sat glued to their radio sets broadcasting live from Flushing Meadow. A collective cry of joy went up when the two-thirds mark was achieved: a state had been sanctioned by the international community."
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  171. ^ Morris 2008, p. 66: at 1946 "The League demanded independence for Palestine as a "unitary" state, with an Arab majority and minority rights for the Jews.", p. 67: at 1947 "The League's Political Committee met in Sofar, Lebanon, on 16–19 September, and urged the Palestine Arabs to fight partition, which it called "aggression," "without mercy." The League promised them, in line with Bludan, assistance "in manpower, money and equipment" should the United Nations endorse partition.", p. 72: at December 1947 "The League vowed, in very general language, "to try to stymie the partition plan and prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.""
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  363. . In 1948, the newly independent state of Israel took over the old British regulations that had set English, Arabic, and Hebrew as official languages for Mandatory Palestine but, as mentioned, dropped English from the list. In spite of this, official language use has maintained a de facto role for English, after Hebrew but before Arabic.
  364. . English is not considered official but it plays a dominant role in the educational and public life of Israeli society. ... It is the language most widely used in commerce, business, formal papers, academia, and public interactions, public signs, road directions, names of buildings, etc. English behaves 'as if' it were the second and official language in Israel.
  365. . In terms of English, there is no connection between the declared policies and statements and de facto practices. While English is not declared anywhere as an official language, the reality is that it has a very high and unique status in Israel. It is the main language of the academy, commerce, business, and the public space.
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  416. . The compromise, therefore, was to choose constructive ambiguity: as surprising as it may seem, there is no law that declares Judaism the official religion of Israel. However, there is no other law that declares Israel's neutrality toward all confessions. Judaism is not recognized as the official religion of the state, and even though the Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy receive their salaries from the state, this fact does not make Israel a neutral state. This apparent pluralism cannot dissimulate the fact that Israel displays a clear and undoubtedly hierarchical pluralism in religious matters. ... It is important to note that from a multicultural point of view, this self-restrained secularism allows Muslim law to be practiced in Israel for personal matters of the Muslim community. As surprising as it seems, if not paradoxical for a state in war, Israel is the only Western democratic country in which Sharia enjoys such an official status.
  417. . It is true that Jewish Israelis, and secular Israelis in particular, conceive of religion as shaped by a state-sponsored religious establishment. There is no formal state religion in Israel, but the state gives its official recognition and financial support to particular religious communities, Jewish, Islamic and Christian, whose religious authorities and courts are empowered to deal with matters of personal status and family law, such as marriage, divorce, and alimony, that are binding on all members of the communities.
  418. . Although there is no official religion in Israel, there is also no clear separation between religion and state. In Israeli public life, tensions frequently arise among different streams of Judaism: Ultra-Orthodox, National-Religious, Mesorati (Conservative), Reconstructionist Progressive (Reform), and varying combinations of traditionalism and non-observance. Despite this variety in religious observances in society, Orthodox Judaism prevails institutionally over the other streams. This boundary is an historical consequence of the unique evolution of the relationship between Israel nationalism and state building. ... Since the founding period, in order to defuse religious tensions, the State of Israel has adopted what is known as the 'status quo,' an unwritten agreement stipulating that no further changes would be made in the status of religion, and that conflict between the observant and non-observant sectors would be handled circumstantially. The 'status quo' has since pertained to the legal status of both religious and secular Jews in Israel. This situation was designed to appease the religious sector, and has been upheld indefinitely through the disproportionate power of religious political parties in all subsequent coalition governments. ... On one hand, the Declaration of Independence adopted in 1948 explicitly guarantees freedom of religion. On the other, it simultaneously prevents the separation of religion and state in Israel.
  419. . The great political and ideological importance of religion in the state of Israel manifests itself in the manifold legal provisions concerned with religions phenomenon. ... It is not a system of separation between state and religion as practiced in the U.S.A and several other countries of the world. In Israel a number of religious bodies exercise official functions; the religious law is applied in limited areas
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  431. ISBN 978-0-19-968542-4. Although the basic philosophy behind the law of military occupation is that it is a temporary situation modem occupations have well demonstrated that rien ne dure comme le provisoire A significant number of post-1945 occupations have lasted more than two decades such as the occupations of Namibia by South Africa and of East Timor by Indonesia as well as the ongoing occupations of Northern Cyprus by Turkey and of Western Sahara by Morocco. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, which is the longest in all occupation's history has already entered its fifth decade.
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  437. . settlers remain fully enfranchised Israeli citizens while their Palestinian neighbors have no voting rights and no impact on Israeli policies
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