Form of Government: Republic
Area: 20 918 sq km
Population: 8 834 700 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 422.35 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 33° - 29° N; long. 34° - 36° E
Capital: Jerusalem=Yerushalayim (capital) 882 700 inhab. (2016); Gerusalemme 1 253 900 inhab. (2016), urban agglomeration
Currency: new Israeli shekel (100 agorot)
Human development index: 0.899 (rank: 19)
President: Reuven Rivlin (Likud), elected 10 June 2014, in office since 24 July 2014
Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), since 31 March 2009
National Assembly (Knesset): seats based on the elections of 17 March 2015: Likud (The Consolidation, right-wing), 30; Zionist Union (centre-left coalition formed by the Labor Party and Hatnuah, "The Movement"), 24; Joint List (coalition of Arab parties), 13; Yesh Atid (There is a Future, centre), 11; Kulanu (All of Us, centre-right), 10; Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home, Zionist nationalist), 8; Shas (Sephardic, ultra-orthodox), 7; Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home, right-wing), 6; United Torah Judaism (ultra-orthodox coalition), 6; Meretz (Energy, left-wing), 5
Internet: www.cbs.gov.il (Central Bureau of Statistics)
Member of Council of Europe observer, EBRD, OAS observer, OECD, UN, WTO

Israel

Yisra’el, Medinat Yisra’el
Useful information

International license plate code IL
International dialling code 00972
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .il

GMT  +2
DST  +3
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Jerusalem 17.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Jerusalem 9/24
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Jerusalem 14/6
Annual average precipitation (mm) Jerusalem 534
Days of rainfall (annual average) Jerusalem 43

Politics and current affairs

Since 30 March 2018, there have been weekly protests on the border between Gaza and Israel over Palestinians’ right to return to Israel-occupied territories, against the Blockade of the Strip and US President D. Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem. The stern response of the Israeli military has led to dozens of deaths. With the support of ultra-orthodox parties restored, the government is once again stable, despite Prime Minister B. Netanyahu’s involvement in various corruption investigations. On 19 July 2018, Parliament approved a controversial law that defines the country as the Nation-State of the Jewish People.

Geography.
Israel is bordered to the north by Lebanon, to the north-east by Syria, to the east by Jordan and the West Bank and to the south-west by Egypt and Gaza Strip. Its north-west coast lies on the Mediterranean Sea, and to the south is the Gulf of Aqaba. The country consists of the high plains of Galilee, Samaria and Judea. Towards the east there is a deep depression following the course of the river Jordan (partly occupied by the Dead Sea) which reaches a depth of -422 m. Along the Mediterranean coast lie the fertile plains of Sharon and Shephelah. The southern part of Israel consists of the Negev desert. The climate is Mediterranean.

Government


The state of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 based on a UN resolution of November 1947 which divided Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish one. The resolution was rejected by all the Arab states, which went to war with Israel in 1948. Another three wars broke out in 1956, 1967, and 1973, all of them won by Israel. In 1967 Israel occupied some parts of Egypt (Sinai and Gaza), Jordan (the West Bank) and Syria (the Golan Heights). In 1978, with the USA as mediator, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt which included the provision that Israel would return all of the lands occupied in Sinai, the recognition of the legitimate rights of Palestinians and an undertaking to respect their autonomy. In 1982, with the aim of attacking Palestinian bases there, Israel occupied the southern part of Lebanon (it withdrew in 2000).
In 1987 the Intifada (“revolt of the stones”) surfaced among the Palestinian population in the territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and was bitterly repressed by the army. It was only in 1992, after the victory of the Labour Party, that the government abandoned its hard line, and with a series of agreements (1993-95) the PNA (the Palestinian National Authority) led by Yasser Arafat was officially recognized. The main architect of these agreements, the Labour leader Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated on 4 November 1995 by a right wing Israeli extremist.
New terrorist atrocities by Palestinians and the election of Likud in the 1996 elections slowed down the peace process, which only picked up again, with some difficulty, after the Sharm el Sheik agreements (4 September 1999). The agreements still did not, however, resolve the question of what to do with the capital, Jerusalem. A new Intifada broke out in 2000 and produced several bloody attacks by the Palestinians and repression from the Israelis which made any agreement impossible. The following government, led by Ariel Sharon (Likud), initially supported military intervention, and built a wall to separate Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories. Put forward by the right wing, the Sharon plan for an Israeli withdrawal was supported by the Labour Party and was passed by the Knesset (2004). Having founded a new party (Kadima) in 2005, open to members from all fronts as long as they were prepared to pursue the plan for Israel’s unilateral separation from the Palestinian territories, Sharon suffered a stroke (2006); the party’s leadership passed to Ehud Olmert, who won the early elections in 2006 as the head of a fragile centre coalition. In June 2006, Israeli armed forces invaded southern Lebanon to fight the Hezbollah militia, withdrawing in August following a ceasefire. From December 2008 to January 2009, in response to rocket fire, a quick yet violent offensive was carried out against the Gaza Strip. After the 2009 elections a government of the right was formed, led by Likud and headed by Netanyahu, who continued to lead the country even after the elections of 2013 and 2014, despite being forced to form coalition governments. Following the news of the collaboration between ANP and Hamas, Israel announced on 24 May 2014 they would suspend the peace talks, which had started again in 2013. Israel does not have a written constitution. Following the basis of the founding laws of the country, the President of the Republic is elected for a five-year term by the Knesset which has 120 deputies who are elected for four-year terms. The Prime Minister must have the approval of Parliament.


Defence and justice.
Military service includes a complex system of compulsory conscription for both sexes, but limited to Jews and Druze, and longer-term postings in the reserves. The country possesses nuclear weapons (although it has never officially admitted it) and it has never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The legal system is based on British Common law.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force19.3%2015
Army75.3%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes3 834.1per 100 000 pop.2016
Homicides1.4per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Jerusalem=Yerushalayim882 700inhab.2016
Tel Aviv-Jaffa=Tel Aviv-Yafo438 800inhab.2016
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tel Aviv-Jaffa3 854 000inhab.2016
Gerusalemme1 253 900inhab.2016
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

Together with the first traditional, immigrants coming from central and eastern Europe (Ashkenazi Jews) and from North Africa (Sephardi Jews), over a million Russian Jews have joined them since the break-up of the USSR. More than a fifth of the population are Arabs who remained in Israel after 1948.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate21.22016
Death rate5.22016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Jewish74.7%2016
Arab20.8%2016


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Jewish74.7%2016
Muslim17.7%2016


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic
Hebrew (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years27.5%2017
15-29 years22.6%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
Exports, in decline since 2015 due to negative global trends, began to grow again in 2018; the economy is also sustained through internal demand. Wealth disparity is considerably high and the high prices of houses and everyday goods make things difficult for the less affluent classes. Despite widespread discontent, the government has upheld a strict fiscal manoeuvre to gradually reduce the deficit of public accounts.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)108.82index2016
Balance of trade-10 816M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population3 993 100units2017
Active population, Females47.3%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate4.2%2017
Unemployment rate, Females48.4%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses449 334.4M LCU2017
Revenues422 313.3M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture1%2017
industry17.5%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture1.3%2016
industry20.8%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation76BN LCU2016
International reserves113 009.5M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector.
The most widely grown crops are fruit and vegetables; vines are also found in the plains of Judea and Sharon. In Western Galilee olives are widely grown. Citrus fruits, mostly for export, are typical in the irrigated strip of land near the coast, especially in the region of Haifa (Petaẖ Tikva).

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land18.2%2015
forests7.62%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley13.751000 t2016
cereals, total305.3821000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes597.6771000 t2016
roots and tubers, total635.9961000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes2.6931000 t2016
asparagus0.1091000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, green10.7891000 t2016
broad beans, dry12.61000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes66.0021000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives911000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts161000 t2016
sesame seed0.0471000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet01000 t2016
tobacco0.0041000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton35.81000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples1001000 t2016
apricots6.51000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds8.51000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits4941000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes111000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados101.51000 t2016
bananas1361000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms111000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley6.151000 ha2016
maize3.491000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes17.5861000 ha2016
sweet potatoes2.1541000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes0.341000 ha2016
cabbages4.5491000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, green0.9661000 ha2016
broad beans, dry0.11000 ha2014
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape7.941000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive33.71000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts3.11000 ha2016
sesame seed0.0221000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet01000 ha2016
tobacco0.0121000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton8.341000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples3.021000 ha2016
apricots0.571000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds0.381000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits20.7741000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes1.0091000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados8.181000 ha2016
bananas2.5251000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber27 0002016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle506.71000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes506.71000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs1901000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep488.561000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats118.381000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses51000 heads2016
asses and mules6.61000 heads2016
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels5.5081000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds46 9791000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey3.21000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter5.71000 t2014
cheese132.421000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs210t2016
freshwater fishes14 747t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
Crude oil is extracted from deposits in H̱eleẕ and Kokhav (in northern Negev), and in Rosh Ha‘Ayin and Kefar Sava (in the central district). An oil pipeline (425 km) transports imported crude from Elat (on the Gulf of Aqaba) to Beersheba and Haifa; another one (260 km) connects Elat to Ashqelon. In 2012 natural gas began to be extracted from the vast underwater deposits of Tamar; the Leviathan deposit is even richer. Other productive gas fields are located at Kidod and Rosh Zohar; a pipeline (29 km) carries the gas to chemical plants at Sedom, on the Dead Sea.
In 2012, the agreement with Egypt was revoked for the gas supply via the undersea pipeline from Al-‘Arīsh to Ashqelon, target of numerous acts of terrorism. Potassium salts are also found (at Sedom), as well as bromide and magnesium (from the waters of the Dead Sea), and natural phosphates (at Oron and Arad, in northern Negev).
Energy and industry.
Most of the energy is produced by gas-fired and coal-fired thermal power plants. Industrial activity is concentrated in the plain of Haifa (metal-working, chemicals and cement) and at Tel Aviv-Jaffa (light industry, textiles and foodstuffs). Two refineries are active at Ashod and Haifa. High-tech businesses are found at Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Herzliyya and Haifa (telecommunications and information technology); there are important technology parks at Jerusalem, Karmi’el and Nesher. The large, highly-skilled workforce and the lenient tax system have encouraged several multinationals into the area. Car manufacturers are located at Haifa. The main diamond works are at Netanya and Tel Aviv. There are also paper, cigarette and tyre factories.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural gas9 600M m³2017
oil, crude19.51000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
magnesite981000 t2009
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gypsum1591000 t2016
phosphate rock4 0001000 t2017
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble - t771000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diamonds2001000 ct2013
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal59 231.28M kWh2015
- other renew.1 190M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal16 4451000 kW2015
- other renew.7691000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation60 445.28M kWh2015
total installed capacity17 2211000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
lead261000 t2015
magnesium241000 t2017
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen1661000 t2015
petrol4 348.61000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers16.61000 t2014
phosphate fertilizers790.31000 t2015
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley1201000 t2014
cottonseed oil2.91000 t2014
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper4031000 t2016
paper4031000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement6 9041000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production7 225.7M US$2010
food, beverages and tobacco production4 187.6M US$2014
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
The trend of the balance of trade is negative. Imports include mainly energy and mining resources.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) 
diamonds 11 186, electrical and electronic equipment 6 812, pharmaceuticals 6 361, chemicals 4 450, machinery 4 434, technical and electro-medical appliances 4 408, aircraft and parts thereof 2 851, plastics 2 556, fertilizers 1 035


Finance and banking.
The Bank of Israel acts as the central bank.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures92.469% of goods exports2016
food products2.793% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States14 547M US$2017
United Kingdom4 540M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China9 157M US$2017
United States8 193M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201761 091.6M US$ -
201660 401M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201771 907.5M US$ -
201668 879.4M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures8 607M US$2016
Number of arrivals2 900 000units2016
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown98 700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried7 0651000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers281.437per 1000 pop.2017
Computers1 225per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling15.9years2016
Gradautes, percentage49.9%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level73 104units2014-13
Teachers, secondary level61 701units2014-13
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending27.6% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending16.1% of GDP2016
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds3per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians3.1per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2011
Tuberculosis3.5per 100 000 pop.2016
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums153units2013
Museums, visitors7 462 049units2013
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending4.25% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.3%2014
education5.6%2014
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