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{{About|the modern country}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|country in the Middle East}}{{pp-30-500|small=yes}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2019}}{{Coord|31|N|35|E|region:IL_type:country|display=title}}

}}{{native nameإسرائيل|italics=off}}}}}}| common_name = Israel| image_flag = Flag of Israel.svg| alt_flag = Centered blue star within a horizontal triband| image_coat = Emblem of Israel.svg| alt_coat = Centered menorah surrounded by two olive branches| symbol_type = EmblemHatikvah" ()(File:Hatikvah instrumental.ogg|center)| image_map = ISR orthographic.svg| alt_map = Location of Israel (in green) on the globe.| image_map2 = Israel - Location Map (2012) - ISR - UNOCHA.svgGreen Line (Israel)>Green Line)Jerusalem (Status of Jerusalem>limited recognition){{refnRecognition by other UN member states: Australia (West Jerusalem),HTTPS://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD-AUSTRALIA-46576716 >TITLE=AUSTRALIA RECOGNISES WEST JERUSALEM AS ISRAELI CAPITAL DATE=15 DECEMBER 2018, Russia (West Jerusalem),FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT REGARDING PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI SETTLEMENT >URL=HTTP://WWW.MID.RU/EN/FOREIGN_POLICY/NEWS/-/ASSET_PUBLISHER/CKNONKJE02BW/CONTENT/ID/2717182 DATE=6 APRIL 2017, the Czech Republic (West Jerusalem),HTTP://WWW.JPOST.COM/BREAKING-NEWS/CZECH-REPUBLIC-ANNOUNCES-IT-RECOGNIZES-WEST-JERUSALEM-AS-ISRAELS-CAPITAL-517241>TITLE=CZECH REPUBLIC ANNOUNCES IT RECOGNIZES WEST JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL'S CAPITALDATE=6 DECEMBER 2017QUOTE="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.", Honduras,HONDURAS RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL'S CAPITAL >URL=HTTPS://WWW.TIMESOFISRAEL.COM/HONDURAS-RECOGNIZES-JERUSALEM-AS-ISRAELS-CAPITAL/ DATE=29 AUGUST 2019, Guatemala,HTTPS://WWW.INFOBAE.COM/AMERICA/MUNDO/2017/12/24/GUATEMALA-SE-SUMA-A-EEUU-Y-TAMBIEN-TRASLADARA-SU-EMBAJADA-EN-ISRAEL-A-JERUSALEN/>TITLE=GUATEMALA SE SUMA A EEUU Y TAMBIéN TRASLADARá SU EMBAJADA EN ISRAEL A JERUSALéNWEBSITE=INFOBAELANGUAGE=ES, Guatemala's embassy was located in Jerusalem until the 1980s, when it was moved to Tel Aviv. Nauru,NAURU RECOGNIZES J'LEM AS CAPITAL OF ISRAEL >URL=HTTP://WWW.ISRAELNATIONALNEWS.COM/NEWS/NEWS.ASPX/268084 DATE=29 AUGUST 2019 United States.HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2017/12/06/WORLD/MIDDLEEAST/TRUMP-JERUSALEM-ISRAEL-CAPITAL.HTMLNEWSPAPER=THE NEW YORK TIMESACCESS-DATE=6 DECEMBER 2017, }}31N13region:IL-JM_type:city(880000)}}| largest_city = capitalModern Hebrew>Hebrew| languages_type = Recognized languagesModern Standard Arabic>Arabic{{refnArabic previously had been considered an official language of the State of Israel.ARABIC IN ISRAEL: AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE AND A CULTURAL BRIDGE >URL=HTTP://MFA.GOV.IL/MFA/ISRAELEXPERIENCE/CULTURE/PAGES/ARABIC-IN-ISRAEL--AN-OFFICIAL-LANGUAGE-AND-A-CULTURAL-BRIDGE-18-DECEMBER-2016.ASPX DATE=18 DECEMBER 2016it was classified) as having a 'special status in the state' with its use by state institutions to be set in law.ISRAEL PASSES 'NATIONAL HOME' LAW, DRAWING IRE OF ARABS >URL=HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2018/07/18/WORLD/MIDDLEEAST/ISRAEL-PASSES-NATIONAL-HOME-LAW.HTML DATE=19 JULY 2018 TITLE=ISRAEL ADOPTS DIVISIVE JEWISH NATION-STATE LAW WORK=REUTERS WEBSITE=KNESSET WEBSITE QUOTE=THE ARABIC LANGUAGE HAS A SPECIAL STATUS IN THE STATE; REGULATING THE USE OF ARABIC IN STATE INSTITUTIONS OR BY THEM WILL BE SET IN LAW., }}74.2% Israeli Jews>20.9% Arab citizens of Israel>4.8% other}}| ethnic_groups_year = 201974.2% Israeli Jews>17.8% Islam in Israel>2.0% Christianity in Israel>1.6% Druze in Israel>4.4% other}}| religion_year = 2019Israelis>Israeli| government_type = Unitary parliamentary republicPresident of Israel>President| leader_name1 = Reuven RivlinPrime Minister of Israel>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Benjamin NetanyahuList of Knesset speakers>Knesset Speaker| leader_name3 = Yuli EdelsteinSupreme Court of Israel>Chief Justice| leader_name4 = Esther Hayut| legislature = KnessetHistory of Israel>IndependenceIsraeli Declaration of Independence>Declared| established_date1 = 14 May 1948Israel, Palestine, and the United Nations>Admission to UNO| established_date2 = 11 May 1949| area_km2 = 20,770–22,072| area_sq_mi = 8,019–8,522| area_rank = 150tharea|a}}| percent_water = 2.1poptodayPUBLISHER=ISRAEL CENTRAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS, 20 February 2017, | population_estimate_year = 2019| population_estimate_rank = 99thURL=HTTP://WWW.CBS.GOV.IL/WWW/MIFKAD/MIFKAD_2008/PROFILES/REP_E_000000.PDF ACCESS-DATE=27 DECEMBER 2016, | population_census_year = 2008{{data Israel22072prec=0|disp=num}}| population_density_rank= 35thgroup=fnIsraeli population and economic data covers the economic territory of Israel, including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.{{sfn2011}}Quarterly Economic and Social Monitor, Volume 26, October 2011, p. 57: "When Israel bid in March 2010 for membership in the 'Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development'... some members questioned the accuracy of Israeli statistics, as the Israeli figures (relating to gross domestic product, spending and number of the population) cover geographical areas that the Organization does not recognize as part of the Israeli territory. These areas include East Jerusalem, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights."}}| GDP_PPP_rank = 54thDATE=APRIL 2018 ACCESS-DATE=19 APRIL 2018, | GDP_PPP_per_capita = $39,106| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank= 35th| GDP_nominal = $390.656 billion| GDP_nominal_rank = 32nd| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $43,199| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 20th| Gini = 42.8WEBSITE=THE WORLD FACTBOOK ACCESS-DATE=21 AUGUST 2017, | Gini_rank = 48th| Gini_year = 2013| HDI_year = 2017| HDI = 0.903| HDI_change = increase| HDI_rank = 22ndDATE=2018 ACCESS-DATE=24 SEPTEMBER 2018, Israeli new shekel>New shekel ({{rtl-lang₪}})| currency_code = ILSIsrael Standard Time>IST| utc_offset = +2Israel Summer Time>IDT| utc_offset_DST = +3{{rtl-lang×™×™-×—×—-שששש}} (Anno Mundi)>dd-mm-yyyy (CE)}}| drives_on = right| cctld = .il| iso3166code = IL| calling_code = +972weblink}}area}} 20,770 km2 is Israel within the Green Line (Israel). 22,072 km2 includes the annexed Golan Heights (c. {{convert>1,200abbr=on}}) and East Jerusalem (c. {{convertkm²abbr=on}}).| today=}}{{Contains special characters |special=Hebrew and Arabic text |fix=Help:Multilingual support}}Israel ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|ɪ|z|r|i|É™|l|,_|ˈ|ɪ|z|r|eɪ|É™|l}}; ; ), also known as the State of Israel (), is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza StripWEB,weblink Palestinian Territories,, 22 April 2008, 26 December 2012, to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.WEB,weblink Israel, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 5 January 2017, {{Harvard citation no brackets|Skolnik|2007|pp=132–232}} Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv,WEB, GaWC â€“ The World According to GaWC 2008, Globalization and World Cities Research Network, 1 March 2009,weblink while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.The Controversial Sovereignty over the City of Jerusalem (22 June 2015, The National Catholic Reporter) "No U.S. president has ever officially acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem (...) The refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli territory is a near universal policy among Western nations.""UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended the creation of an international zonea, or corpus separatum, in Jerusalem to be administered by the UN for a 10-year period, after which there would be 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" (Susan M. Akram, Michael Dumper, Michael Lynk, Iain Scobbie (eds.), International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace, Routledge, 2010 p. 119. )Jerusalem: Opposition to mooted Trump Israel announcement grows"Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally"Whither Jerusalem (Lapidot) p. 17: "Israeli control in west Jerusalem since 1948 was illegal and most states have not recognized its sovereignty there"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 (see {{Harvard citation no brackets|Kellerman|1993|p=140}}). See Status of Jerusalem for more information.Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa.Charles A. Repenning & Oldrich Fejfar, Evidence for earlier date of 'Ubeidiya, Israel, hominid site Nature 299, 344–347 (23 September 1982) Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age,Encyclopædia Britannica article on Canaan while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.BOOK, Jon L. Berquist, Approaching Yehud: New Approaches to the Study of the Persian Period, {{Google books, X8uK-dZr_BAC, PA195, yes, |year=2007|publisher=Society of Biblical Lit|isbn=978-1-58983-145-2|pages=195–}} The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE,BOOK, Peter Fibiger Bang, Walter Scheidel, The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean, {{Google books, GCj09AmtvvwC, PA184, yes, |year=2013|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-518831-8|pages=184–187}} which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea.BOOK, Abraham Malamat, A History of the Jewish People, {{Google books, 2kSovzudhFUC, PA223, yes, |year=1976|publisher=Harvard University Press|isbn=978-0-674-39731-6|pages=223–239}} Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, the expulsion of the Jewish populationBOOK, Yohanan Aharoni, The Jewish People: An Illustrated History,weblink 15 September 2006, A&C Black, 978-0-8264-1886-9, 99–, and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina.BOOK, Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, The Encyclopedia of Christianity, {{Google books, C5V7oyy69zgC, PA15, yes, |year=2005|publisher=Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing|isbn=978-0-8028-2416-5|pages=15–}} Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and later Mandatory Palestine.In 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states.WEB,weblink Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel, 14 May 1948, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 March 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 March 2017, Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries,{{Harvnb|Gilbert|2005|p=1}} and since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts dispute this claim).WEB,weblink Debate Map: Israel, JOURNAL, Israel, Occupied Territories,weblink JOURNAL, Is Israel Still an Occupying Power in Gaza?, Hanne, Cuyckens, 1 October 2016, Netherlands International Law Review, 63, 3, 275–295, 10.1007/s40802-016-0070-1, {{refn|group=fn|name=occupation}} It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank.BOOK, The Question of Palestine & the United Nations, United Nations Department of Public Information, The status of Jerusalem,weblink East Jerusalem has been considered, by both the General Assembly and the Security Council, as part of the occupied Palestinian territory., NEWS,weblink Analysis: Kadima's big plans, BBC News, 10 October 2010, 29 March 2006, WEB,weblink Israel's Hard-Learned Lessons, Kessner, BC, 2 April 2006, Homeland Security Today, 26 April 2012, WEB,weblink The Legacy of Undefined Borders, Kumaraswamy, P.R., 5 June 2002, Tel Aviv Notes, 25 March 2013, Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times.{{refn|group=fn|name=occupation|The majority of the international community (including the UN General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the International Criminal Court, and the vast majority of human rights organizations) considers Israel to be occupying Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Gaza is still considered to be "occupied" by the United Nations, international human rights organisations, and the majority of governments and legal commentators, despite the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza, due to various forms of ongoing military and economic control.The government of Israel and some supporters have, at times, disputed this position of the international community. For more details of this terminology dispute, including with respect to the current status of the Gaza Strip, see International views on the Israeli-occupied territories and Status of territories captured by Israel.For an explanation of the differences between an annexed but disputed territory (e.g., Tibet) and a militarily occupied territory, please see the article Military occupation.}}See for example:* BOOK, Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza, Hajjar, Lisa, University of California Press, 2005, 978-0-520-24194-7, 96, {{Google books, mcjoHq2wqdUC, PA96, yes, |quote=The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is the longest military occupation in modern times.}}* JOURNAL, Perry, Anderson, Perry Anderson, Editorial: Scurrying Towards Bethlehem, July–August 2001, New Left Review, 10,weblink longest official military occupation of modern history—currently entering its thirty-fifth year, * BOOK, Saree, Makdisi, Saree Makdisi, {{Google books, 2dBM3Ago2BAC, PA299, yes, |quote=longest-lasting military occupation of the modern age|title=Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation|publisher=W.W. Norton & Company|date=2010|isbn=978-0-393-33844-7}}* JOURNAL, 94, 885, Spring 2012, International Review of the Red Cross, The law of belligerent occupation in the Supreme Court of Israel, David, Kretzmer, David Kretzmer, 10.1017/S1816383112000446,weblink This is probably the longest occupation in modern international relations, and it holds a central place in all literature on the law of belligerent occupation since the early 1970s, 207–236, * {{citation|title=The Justice of Occupation|quote=Israel is the only modern state that has held territories under military occupation for over four decades|first=Ra'anan|last=Alexandrowicz|date=24 January 2012|work=The New York Times|url=}}* BOOK, The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law, Sharon, Weill, {{Google books, bDnnAgAAQBAJ, PA22, yes, |page=22|date=2014|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-968542-4|quote=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, {{underline|which is the longest in all occupation's history}} has already entered its fifth decade.}}* Azarova, Valentina. 2017, Israel's Unlawfully Prolonged Occupation: Consequences under an Integrated Legal Framework, European Council on Foreign Affairs Policy Brief: "June 2017 marks 50 years of Israel's belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, making it the longest occupation in modern history." Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state and the (Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People|nation state of the Jewish people).WEB,weblink Freedom in the World, Israel, Freedom House, 2008, 20 March 2012, The country has a liberal democracy (one of only two in the Middle East and North Africa region, the other being Tunisia),NEWS, Tunisia holds first post-revolution presidential poll,weblink BBC News, 23 November 2014, WEB,weblink Freedom in the World 2018, 13 January 2018,, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Rummel|1997|p=11}}. "A current list of liberal democracies includes: Andorra, Argentina, ..., Cyprus, ..., Israel, ..."WEB,weblink Global Survey 2006: Middle East Progress Amid Global Gains in Freedom, 20 March 2012, 19 December 2005, Freedom House, The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. With a population of around 9 million as of 2019,WEB,weblink Latest Population Statistics for Israel,, 23 March 2019, Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member,WEB,weblink Israel's accession to the OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 12 August 2012, and has the 31st or 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training,IISS 2018, pp. 339-340 percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree,REPORT, 15 September 2016, Education at a Glance: Israel,weblink Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 18 January 2017, research and development spending by GDP percentage,WEB,weblink Research and development (R&D) - Gross domestic spending on R&D - OECD Data,, 10 February 2016, women's safety,WEB,weblink The 10 safest countries in the world for women, Australia, Chris Pash, Business Insider, Business Insider, 23 March 2019, life expectancy,WEB,weblink Health status - Life expectancy at birth - OECD Data, theOECD, innovativeness,WEB,weblink These Are the World's Most Innovative Countries,, 24 January 2019, and happiness.WEB,weblink World Happiness Report 2018, Report, World Happiness, 14 March 2018, World Happiness Report, en-US, 26 February 2019,

{{anchor|Etymology}} Etymology

File:Merneptah Israel Stele Cairo.JPG|thumb|upright|The Merneptah Stele (13th century BCE). The majority of biblical archeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as "Israel," the first instance of the name in the record.]]Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" ( {{Audio|He-Medinat Israel2.ogg|{{transl|he|Medīnat Yisrā'el}}|help=no}} {{IPA-he|mediˈnat jisʁaˈʔel|}}; {{transl|ar|ALA-LC|Dawlat Isrāʼīl}} {{IPA-ar|dawlat ʔisraːˈʔiːl|}}) after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel ("the Land of Israel"), Zion, and Judea, were considered but rejected.NEWS, The Palestine Post, Jerusalem, 7 December 1947, 1, Popular Opinion,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 August 2012, In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.NEWS,weblink Time, New York, 31 May 1948, On the Move, 6 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2007, The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively.NEWS, Levine, Robert A., See Israel as a Jewish Nation-State, More or Less Democratic, The New York Times, 7 November 2000, 19 January 2011,weblink The name "Israel" (HebrewYisraʾel, Isrāʾīl; Septuagint Israēl; 'El (God) persists/rules', though after {{Bibleverse|Hosea|12:4}} often interpreted as "struggle with God")William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 p. 186.Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 'Israel,' in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E–J,Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995 p. 907.R.L. Ottley, The Religion of Israel: A Historical Sketch, Cambridge University Press, 2013 pp. 31–32 note 5.BOOK, Longman pronunciation dictionary, John C., Wells, Longman, Harlow, England, 1990, 978-0-582-05383-0, 381, entry "Jacob". 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."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. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years,{{Bibleverse||Exodus|12:40–41|HE}} until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob,{{Bibleverse||Exodus|6:16–20|HE}} led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus". The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).{{Harvard citation no brackets|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."The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. Under British Mandate (1920–1948), the whole region was known as Palestine ().MAGAZINE,weblink Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters, Noah Rayman, Time (magazine), TIME, 29 September 2014, 5 December 2015, Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Canaan, Djahy, Samaria, Judea, Yehud, Iudaea, Syria Palaestina and Southern Syria.



{{Further|Prehistory of the Levant}}The oldest evidence of early humans in the territory of modern Israel, dating to 1.5 million years ago, was found in Ubeidiya near the Sea of Galilee.JOURNAL, Tchernov, Eitan, Eitan Tchernov, 1988, The Age of 'Ubeidiya Formation (Jordan Valley, Israel) and the Earliest Hominids in the Levant, Paléorient, 14, 2, 63–65, 10.3406/paleo.1988.4455, Other notable Paleolithic sites include the caves Tabun, Qesem and Manot. The oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans found outside Africa are the Skhul and Qafzeh hominins, who lived in the area that is now northern Israel 120,000 years ago.NEWS, Rincon, Paul, 14 October 2015, Fossil teeth place humans in Asia '20,000 years early',weblink BBC News, 4 January 2017, Around 10th millennium BCE, the Natufian culture existed in the area.JOURNAL, Bar-Yosef, Ofer, Ofer Bar-Yosef, 7 December 1998, The Natufian Culture in the Levant, Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture,weblink Evolutionary Anthropology (journal), Evolutionary Anthropology, 6, 5, 159–177, 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:53.0.CO;2-7, 4 January 2017,


{{Further|Israelites|Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)|Kingdom of Judah}}File:City of David - King David's Palace IMG 5815.JPG|thumb|The Large Stone Structure, archaeological site in JerusalemJerusalemThe early history of the territory is unclear.BOOK, Finkelstein, Israel, Silberman, Neil Asher, The Bible unearthed : archaeology's new vision of ancient Israel and the origin of its stories, 2001, Simon & Schuster, New York, 978-0-684-86912-4, 1st Touchstone, {{rp|104}} Modern archaeology has largely discarded the historicity of the narrative in the Torah concerning the patriarchs, The Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan described in the Book of Joshua, and instead views the narrative as constituting the Israelites' national myth.BOOK, Dever, William, What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It?, 2001, Eerdmans, 978-3-927120-37-2, {{Google books, 6-VxwC5rQtwC, yes, |pages=98–99 |quote=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.}} During the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE), large parts of Canaan formed vassal states paying tribute to the New Kingdom of Egypt, whose administrative headquarters lay in Gaza.JOURNAL, 10.5615/bullamerschoorie.364.0001, 10.5615/bullamerschoorie.364.0001, The Meaning of Egyptian-Style Objects in the Late Bronze Cemeteries of Tell el-FarÊ¿ah (South), Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 364, 364, 1–36, 2011, Braunstein, Susan L., Ancestors of the Israelites are thought to have included ancient Semitic-speaking peoples native to this area.BOOK, Miller, James Maxwell, Hayes, John Haralson, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah, Westminster John Knox Press, 1986, 978-0-664-21262-9,weblink {{rp|78–79}} The Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of these Canaanite peoples and their cultures through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh.Tubb, 1998. pp. 13–14Mark 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)Rendsberg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5Gnuse 1997, pp. 28, 31{{title?}}{{sfn|McNutt|1999|p=35}}JOURNAL, 10.2307/3268384, 0021-9231, 122, 3, 401–425, Bloch-Smith, Elizabeth, Israelite Ethnicity in Iron I: Archaeology Preserves What Is Remembered and What Is Forgotten in Israel's History, Journal of Biblical Literature, 2003, 3268384, The archaeological evidence indicates a society of village-like centres, but with more limited resources and a small population.Lehman in Vaughn 1992, pp. 156–162.{{full citation needed|date=March 2015}} Villages had populations of up to 300 or 400,{{sfn|McNutt|1999|p=70}}{{sfn|Miller|2012|p=98}} which lived by farming and herding, and were largely self-sufficient;{{sfn|McNutt|1999|p=72}} economic interchange was prevalent.{{sfn|Miller|2012|p=99}} Writing was known and available for recording, even in small sites.{{sfn|Miller|2012|p=105}}File:Kingdoms of Israel and Judah map 830.svg|thumb|upright|Map of Israel and Judah in the 9th century BCE]]While it is unclear if there was ever a United Monarchy,BOOK, Lipschits, Oded, Berlin, Adele, Brettler, Marc Zvi, The Jewish Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-997846-5, 2014, 2nd, {{Google books, yErYBAAAQBAJ, yes, |language=en|chapter=The History of Israel in the Biblical Period}}BOOK, Kuhrt, Amiele, The Ancient Near East, 1995, Routledge, 978-0-415-16762-8, 438,weblink WEB, Wright, Jacob L., David, King of Judah (Not Israel),weblink The Bible and Interpretation, July 2014, there is well-accepted archeological evidence referring to "Israel" in the Merneptah Stele which dates to about 1200 BCE;K.L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion, A&C Black, 2012, rev.ed. pp. 137ff.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.'The personal name "Israel" appears much earlier, in material from Ebla. JOURNAL, Hasel, Michael G., 1 January 1994, Israel in the Merneptah Stela, 1357179, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 296, 296, 45–61, 10.2307/1357179, ; BOOK,weblink Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, Bertman, Stephen, 14 July 2005, OUP, 978-0-19-518364-1, and BOOK, Between Evidence and Ideology Essays on the History of Ancient Israel read at the Joint Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and the Oud Testamentisch Werkgezelschap Lincoln, July 2009, 2010, Brill, 978-90-04-18737-5, 47, Origins of Israel between history and ideology, Meindert Dijkstra, Becking, Bob, Grabbe, Lester, Lester L. Grabbe, 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., and the Canaanites are archaeologically attested in the Middle Bronze Age (2100–1550 BCE).Jonathan M Golden,Ancient Canaan and Israel: An Introduction, OUP, 2009 pp. 3–4.BOOK, Lemche, Niels Peter, 1998, The Israelites in History and Tradition, Westminster John Knox Press, {{Google books, JIoY7PagAOAC, PA35, yes, |page=35|isbn=978-0-664-22727-2}} There is debate about the earliest existence of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their extent and power, but historians agree that a Kingdom of Israel existed by {{Abbr|ca.|circa}} 900 BCE{{rp|169–195}} and that a Kingdom of Judah existed by {{Abbr|ca.|circa}} 700 BCE.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." The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed around 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire.BOOK, Broshi, Maguen, Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls, {{Google books, etTUEorS1zMC, PA174, yes, |publisher=Bloomsbury Publishing |year=2001 |page=174 |isbn=978-1-84127-201-6}}In 586 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon conquered Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, he destroyed Solomon's Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylon. The defeat was also recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.WEB,weblink British Museum – Cuneiform tablet with part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605–594 BCE), 30 October 2014, dead,weblink 30 October 2014, WEB,weblink ABC 5 (Jerusalem Chronicle) – Livius,, The Babylonian exile ended around 538 BCE under the rule of the Medo-Persian Cyrus the Great after he captured Babylon.WEB,weblink Second Temple Period (538 BCE to 70 CE) Persian Rule,, 15 March 2014, Harper's Bible Dictionary, ed. by Achtemeier, etc., Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985, p. 103 The Second Temple was constructed around 520 BCE. As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah became the province of Judah (Yehud Medinata) with different borders, covering a smaller territory.BOOK, Grabbe, Lester L., A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period: Yehud – A History of the Persian Province of Judah v. 1, 2004, T & T Clark, 978-0-567-08998-4, {{Google books, -MnE5T_0RbMC, PA355, gave+the+Jews+permission+to+return+to+Yehud+province+and+to+rebuild+the, yes, |page=355}} The population of the province was greatly reduced from that of the kingdom, archaeological surveys showing a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE.{{rp|308}}

Classical period

{{Further|Hasmonean dynasty|Herodian dynasty|Jewish–Roman wars}}File:Temple Scroll.png|thumb|upright|Portion of the Temple Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written during the Second Temple periodSecond Temple periodWith successive Persian rule, the autonomous province Yehud Medinata was gradually developing back into urban society, largely dominated by Judeans. The Greek conquests largely skipped the region without any resistance or interest. Incorporated into the Ptolemaic and finally the Seleucid empires, the southern Levant was heavily hellenized, building the tensions between Judeans and Greeks. The conflict erupted in 167 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt, which succeeded in establishing an independent Hasmonean Kingdom in Judah, which later expanded over much of modern Israel, as the Seleucids gradually lost control in the region.The Roman Empire invaded the region in 63 BCE, first taking control of Syria, and then intervening in the Hasmonean Civil War. The struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian factions in Judea eventually led to the installation of Herod the Great and consolidation of the Herodian kingdom as a vassal Judean state of Rome. With the decline of the Herodian dynasty, Judea, transformed into a Roman province, became the site of a violent struggle of Jews against Greco-Romans, culminating in the Jewish–Roman wars, ending in wide-scale destruction, expulsions, and genocide. Jewish presence in the region significantly dwindled after the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE.Oppenheimer, A'haron and Oppenheimer, Nili. Between Rome and Babylon: Studies in Jewish Leadership and Society. Mohr Siebeck, 2005, p. 2.Nevertheless, there was a continuous small Jewish presence and Galilee became its religious center.BOOK, Atlas of Jewish History, Cohn-Sherbok, Dan, 1996, Routledge, 978-0-415-08800-8, 58, harv, WEB,weblink Palestine, Lehmann, Clayton Miles, 18 January 2007, Encyclopedia of the Roman Provinces, University of South Dakota, 9 February 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 April 2013, The Mishnah and part of the Talmud, central Jewish texts, were composed during the 2nd to 4th centuries CE in Tiberias and Jerusalem.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Morçöl|2006|p=304}} The region came to be populated predominantly by Greco-Romans on the coast and Samaritans in the hill-country. Christianity was gradually evolving over Roman Paganism, when the area stood under Byzantine rule. Through the 5th and 6th centuries, the dramatic events of the repeated Samaritan revolts reshaped the land, with massive destruction to Byzantine Christian and Samaritan societies and a resulting decrease of the population. After the Persian conquest and the installation of a short-lived Jewish Commonwealth in 614 CE, the Byzantine Empire reconquered the country in 628.

Middle Ages and modern history

{{Further|History of Jerusalem during the Middle Ages|Muslim conquest of the Levant|Crusades|Old Yishuv}}File:Ruins of the Ancient Synagogue at Bar'am.jpg|thumb|Kfar Bar'amKfar Bar'amIn 634–641 CE, the region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs who had recently adopted Islam. Control of the region transferred between the Rashidun Caliphs, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders, and Ayyubids throughout the next three centuries.BOOK, A History of Palestine, 634–1099, Gil, Moshe, 1997, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-59984-9, harv, During the siege of Jerusalem by the First Crusade in 1099, the Jewish inhabitants of the city fought side-by-side with the Fatimid garrison and the Muslim population who tried in vain to defend the city against the Crusaders. When the city fell, around 60,000 people were massacred, including 6,000 Jews seeking refuge in a synagogue.BOOK, Allan D. Cooper, The geography of genocide, {{Google books, Uyh8kdcuA1kC, PA132, yes, |accessdate=1 January 2012|year=2009|publisher=University Press of America|isbn=978-0-7618-4097-8|page=132}} At this time, a full thousand years after the fall of the Jewish state, there were Jewish communities all over the country. Fifty of them are known and include Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza.Carmel, Alex. The History of Haifa Under Turkish Rule. Haifa: Pardes, 2002 ({{ISBN|965-7171-05-9}}), pp. 16–17 According to Albert of Aachen, the Jewish residents of Haifa were the main fighting force of the city, and "mixed with Saracen [Fatimid] troops", they fought bravely for close to a month until forced into retreat by the Crusader fleet and land army.BOOK, A History of Palestine, 634–1099, Moshe Gil, 1992, Cambridge University Press, 829, 978-0-521-40437-2,weblink Haifa was taken [...] in August 1100 or June 1101, according to Muslim sources which contradict one another. Albert of Aachen does not mention the date in a clear manner either. From what he says, it appears that it was mainly the Jewish inhabitants of the city who defended the fortress of Haifa. In his rather strange Latin style, he mentions that there was a Jewish population in Haifa, and that they fought bravely within the walls of the city. He explains that the Jews there were protected people of the Muslims (the Fatimids). They fought side by side with units of the Fatimid army, striking back at Tancred's army from above the walls of the citadel (... Judaei civis comixtis Sarracenorum turmis) until the Crusaders overcame them and they were forced to abandon the walls. The Muslims and the Jews then managed to escape from the fortress with their lives, while the rest of the population fled the city en masse. Whoever remained was slaughtered, and huge quantities of spoils were taken. [...] [Note #3: Albert of Aachen (Albericus, Albertus Aquensis), Historia Hierosolymitanae Expeditionis, in: Recueil des historiens des croisades, RHC (Occ.), IV. p. 523; etc.], 17 May 2015, BOOK, Irven M. Resnick, Marks of Distinctions: Christian Perceptions of Jews in the High Middle Ages, {{Google books, LarC4PG9osUC, PA49, yes, |year=2012|publisher=CUA Press|isbn=978-0-8132-1969-1 |pages=48–49 |quote=citizens of the Jewish race, who lived in the city by the favour and consent of the king of Egypt in return for payment of tribute, got on the walls bearing arms and put up a very stubborn defence, until the Christians, weighed down by various blows over the period of two weeks, absolutely despaired and held back their hands from any attack. [...] the Jewish citizens, mixed with Saracen troops, at once fought back manfully,... and counter-attacked. [Albert of Aachen, Historia Ierosolimitana 7.23, ed. and transl. Susan B. Edgington (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), 516 and 521.] }}In 1165, Maimonides visited Jerusalem and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the "great, holy house."Sefer HaCharedim Mitzvat Tshuva Chapter 3. Maimonides established a yearly holiday for himself and his sons, 6 Cheshvan, commemorating the day he went up to pray on the Temple Mount, and another, 9 Cheshvan, commemorating the day he merited to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. In 1141, the Spanish-Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi issued a call for Jews to migrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself. In 1187, Sultan Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, defeated the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin and subsequently captured Jerusalem and almost all of Palestine. In time, Saladin issued a proclamation inviting Jews to return and settle in Jerusalem,BOOK, Abraham P. Bloch, One a day: an anthology of Jewish historical anniversaries for every day of the year, {{Google books, mjxJAFawRasC, PA277, yes, |accessdate=26 December 2011|year=1987|publisher=KTAV Publishing House, Inc.|isbn=978-0-88125-108-1|page=277|chapter=Sultan Saladin Opens Jerusalem to Jews}} and according to Judah al-Harizi, they did: "From the day the Arabs took Jerusalem, the Israelites inhabited it."BOOK, Benzion Dinur, David Ben-Gurion, The Jews in their Land, {{Google books, 5sVtAAAAMAAJ, yes, |accessdate=26 December 2011|year=1974|publisher=Aldus Books|page=217|chapter=From Bar Kochba's Revolt to the Turkish Conquest}} Al-Harizi compared Saladin's decree allowing Jews to re-establish themselves in Jerusalem to the one issued by the Persian king Cyrus the Great over 1,600 years earlier.BOOK, Geoffrey Hindley, Saladin: hero of Islam, {{Google books, fDYsAQAAIAAJ, yes, |accessdate=26 December 2011|year=2007|publisher=Pen & Sword Military|isbn=978-1-84415-499-9|page=xiii}}File:Ramban shul.jpg|thumb|The 13th-century Ramban SynagogueRamban SynagogueIn 1211, the Jewish community in the country was strengthened by the arrival of a group headed by over 300 rabbis from France and England,BOOK, Alex Carmel, Peter Schäfer, Yossi Ben-Artzi, The Jewish settlement in Palestine, 634–1881, {{Google books, c71tAAAAMAAJ, yes, |accessdate=21 December 2011|year=1990|publisher=L. Reichert|isbn=978-3-88226-479-1|page=31}} among them Rabbi Samson ben Abraham of Sens.Samson ben Abraham of Sens, Jewish Encyclopedia. Nachmanides (Ramban), the 13th-century Spanish rabbi and recognised leader of Jewry, greatly praised the Land of Israel and viewed its settlement as a positive commandment incumbent on all Jews. He wrote "If the gentiles wish to make peace, we shall make peace and leave them on clear terms; but as for the land, we shall not leave it in their hands, nor in the hands of any nation, not in any generation."BOOK, Moshe Lichtman, Eretz Yisrael in the Parshah: The Centrality of the Land of Israel in the Torah, {{Google books, g95csSXsDpcC, PA302, yes, |accessdate=23 December 2011|year=2006|publisher=Devora Publishing|isbn=978-1-932687-70-5|page=302}}In 1260, control passed to the Mamluk sultans of Egypt.BOOK, A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel, Kramer, Gudrun, 2008, Princeton University Press, 978-0-691-11897-0, 376,weblink harv, The country was located between the two centres of Mamluk power, Cairo and Damascus, and only saw some development along the postal road connecting the two cities. Jerusalem, although left without the protection of any city walls since 1219, also saw a flurry of new construction projects centred around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount. In 1266, the Mamluk Sultan Baybars converted the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron into an exclusive Islamic sanctuary and banned Christians and Jews from entering, who previously had been able to enter it for a fee. The ban remained in place until Israel took control of the building in 1967.BOOK, M. Sharon, Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, 2010, Koninklijke Brill NV, Al Khalil, International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa by Trudy Ring, Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, pp. 336–339File:Jews at Western Wall by Felix Bonfils, 1870s.jpg|thumb|Jews at the Western WallWestern WallIn 1470, Isaac b. Meir Latif arrived from Italy and counted 150 Jewish families in Jerusalem.BOOK, Dan Bahat, Twenty centuries of Jewish life in the Holy Land: the forgotten generations, {{Google books, zoGgAAAAMAAJ, yes, |accessdate=23 December 2011|year=1976|publisher=Israel Economist|page=48|author-link=Dan Bahat}}Thanks to Joseph Saragossi who had arrived in the closing years of the 15th century, Safed and its environs had developed into the largest concentration of Jews in Palestine. With the help of the Sephardic immigration from Spain, the Jewish population had increased to 10,000 by the early 16th century.BOOK, Fannie Fern Andrews, The Holy Land under mandate, {{Google books, n5NtAAAAMAAJ, yes, |accessdate=25 December 2011|year=1976|publisher=Hyperion Press|isbn=978-0-88355-304-6|page=145}}In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire; it remained under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War, when Britain defeated the Ottoman forces and set up a military administration across the former Ottoman Syria. In 1660, a Druze revolt led to the destruction of Safed and Tiberias.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...." In 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.WEB, Palestine – Ottoman rule,weblink, Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 November 2018, 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.Macalister and Masterman, 1906, p. 40 Shortly after, the Tanzimat reforms were implemented across the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, after the Allies conquered the Levant during World War I, the territory was divided between Britain and France under the mandate system, and the British-administered area which included modern day Israel was named Mandatory Palestine.WEB,weblink The Covenant of the League of Nations, Article 22, 18 October 2012, "Mandate for Palestine," Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 11, p. 862, Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, 1972

Zionism and British Mandate

{{further|Balfour Declaration|Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine}}File:Theodor Herzl.jpg|thumb|upright|alt=Black and white portrait of a long-bearded man.Since the existence of the earliest Jewish diaspora, many Jews have aspired to return to "Zion" and the "Land of Israel",{{Harvard citation no brackets|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 ..." though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute.JOURNAL,weblink Return to Zion, Geoffrey Wigoder, G.G., The New Encyclopedia of Judaism (Via Answers.Com), 8 March 2010, harv, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 18 April 2010, An invention called 'the Jewish people', Haaretz, 9 March 2010, The hopes and yearnings of Jews living in exile are an important theme of the Jewish belief system. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some communities settled in Palestine.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Gilbert|2005|p=2}}. "Jews sought a new homeland here after their expulsions from Spain (1492) ..." During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the Four Holy Cities—Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed—and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem.BOOK, Miraculous journey: a complete history of the Jewish people from creation to the present, Eisen, Yosef, 2004, Targum Press, 978-1-56871-323-6, 700, harv, In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European opponents of Hasidism, known as the Perushim, settled in Palestine.BOOK, Hastening redemption: Messianism and the resettlement of the land of Israel, Morgenstern, Arie, 2006, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-530578-4, 304, harv, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Jewish and Non-Jewish Population of Palestine-Israel (1517–2004), Jewish Virtual Library, 29 March 2010, BOOK, The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul committee of Officials for Palestine, Barnai, Jacob, 1992, University Alabama Press, 978-0-8173-0572-7, 320, harv,
|align = left
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}}The first wave of modern Jewish migration to Ottoman-ruled Palestine, known as the First Aliyah, began in 1881, as Jews fled pogroms in Eastern Europe.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Jewish Virtual Library, 29 March 2012, Immigration to Israel, The source provides information on the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Aliyot in their respective articles. The White Paper leading to Aliyah Bet is discussed WEB,weblink Aliyah During World War II and its Aftermath, Although the Zionist movement already existed in practice, Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl is credited with founding political Zionism,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Kornberg|1993}} "How did Theodor Herzl, an assimilated German nationalist in the 1880s, suddenly in the 1890s become the founder of Zionism?" a movement that sought to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, thus offering a solution to the so-called Jewish question of the European states, in conformity with the goals and achievements of other national projects of the time.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Herzl|1946|p=11}} In 1896, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), offering his vision of a future Jewish state; the following year he presided over the First Zionist Congress.WEB, Chapter One,weblink The Jewish Agency for Israel1, 21 September 2015, 21 July 2005, The Second Aliyah (1904–14), began after the Kishinev pogrom; some 40,000 Jews settled in Palestine, although nearly half of them left eventually. Both the first and second waves of migrants were mainly Orthodox Jews,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Stein|2003|p=88}}. "As with the First Aliyah, most Second Aliyah migrants were non-Zionist orthodox Jews ..." although the Second Aliyah included socialist groups who established the kibbutz movement.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Romano|2003|p=30}} During World War I, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour sent the Balfour Declaration to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, that stated that Britain intended for the creation of a Jewish "national home" within the Palestinian Mandate.NEWS, Macintyre, Donald, The birth of modern Israel: A scrap of paper that changed history, The Independent, 20 March 2012, 26 May 2005,weblink BOOK, The Making of the Modern Near East 1792–1923, Yapp, M.E., Malcolm Yapp, 1987, Longman, Harlow, England, 978-0-582-49380-3, 290,weblink In 1918, the Jewish Legion, a group primarily of Zionist volunteers, assisted in the British conquest of Palestine.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Jewish Legion, Encyclopaedia Judaica,weblink 2007, Detroit, Macmillan Reference, 6 August 2014, Joseph B., Schechtman, 304, 11, Arab opposition to British rule and Jewish immigration led to the 1920 Palestine riots and the formation of a Jewish militia known as the Haganah (meaning "The Defense" in Hebrew), from which the Irgun and Lehi, or the Stern Gang, paramilitary groups later split off.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Scharfstein|1996|p=269}}. "During the First and Second Aliyot, there were many Arab attacks against Jewish settlements ... In 1920, Hashomer was disbanded and Haganah ("The Defense") was established." 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.JOURNAL,weblink League of Nations: The Mandate for Palestine, July 24, 1922, Modern History Sourcebook, 24 July 1922, 27 August 2007, The population of the area at this time was predominantly Arab and Muslim, with Jews accounting for about 11%,BOOK, Shaw, J.V.W., A Survey of Palestine, Reprint, Volume I: Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1991, 1946, Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, DC, 978-0-88728-213-3, 22345421, 148, Chapter VI: Population,weblink and Arab Christians about 9.5% of the population.WEB, Report to the League of Nations on Palestine and Transjordan, 1937, British Government, 1937, 14 July 2013,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2013, The Third (1919–23) and Fourth Aliyahs (1924–29) brought an additional 100,000 Jews to Palestine. The rise of Nazism and the increasing persecution of Jews in 1930s Europe led to the Fifth Aliyah, with an influx of a quarter of a million Jews. This was a major cause of the Arab revolt of 1936–39 during which the British Mandate authorities alongside the Zionist militias of Haganah and Irgun killed 5,032 Arabs and wounded 14,760,BOOK, {{Google books, hEt5PWCTMJMC, PA374, irgun%20and%20haganah%20in%20the%201936 riots, irgun+and+haganah+in+the+1936+riots, yes, |title=A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel|accessdate=15 October 2015|publisher=Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|author=Walter Laqueur|year=2009|isbn=978-0-307-53085-1}}JOURNAL, Hughes, M, 2009, The banality of brutality: British armed forces and the repression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–39,weblink English Historical Review, CXXIV, 507, 314–354, 10.1093/ehr/cep002, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 21 February 2016, dmy-all, resulting in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled.Khalidi, Walid (1987). From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies. {{ISBN|978-0-88728-155-6}} The British introduced restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine with the White Paper of 1939. With countries around the world turning away 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 33% of the total population.WEB,weblink The Population of Palestine Prior to 1948, MidEastWeb, 19 March 2012,

After World War II

{{further|United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine|1948 Palestine war|Israeli Declaration of Independence}}(File:UN Palestine Partition Versions 1947.jpg|thumb|upright|UN Map, Palestine plan of partition with economic union)File:Declaration of State of Israel 1948.jpg|thumb|David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of IndependenceIsraeli Declaration of IndependenceFile:Raising the Ink Flag at Umm Rashrash (Eilat).jpg|thumb|upright|Raising of the Ink Flag, marking the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War1948 Arab–Israeli WarAfter World War II, Britain found itself in intense conflict with the Jewish community over Jewish immigration limits, 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.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Fraser|2004|p=27}} 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 Yishuv attempted to bring these refugees to Palestine but many were turned away or rounded up and placed in detention camps in Atlit and Cyprus by the British.BOOK, Motti Golani, Palestine Between Politics and Terror, 1945–1947, {{Google books, Mp7BAgAAQBAJ, PA130, yes, |year=2013|publisher=UPNE|isbn=978-1-61168-388-2|page=130}}BOOK, Cohen, Michael J, Britain's Moment in Palestine:Retrospect and Perspectives, 1917–1948, 2014, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 978-0-415-72985-7, 474, First, {{Google books, DLPpAgAAQBAJ, PA474, British%20detention%20camps%20at%20atlit%20and cyprus, British+detention+camps+at+atlit+and+cyprus, yes, }}On 22 July 1946, Irgun attacked the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wingThe Terrorism Ahead: Confronting Transnational Violence in the Twenty-First | By Paul J. Smith | M.E. Sharpe, 2007 | p. 27 of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Harvey W. Kushner, Sage, 2003 p. 181Encyclopædia Britannica article on the Irgun Zvai LeumiThe British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism. William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 430 A total of 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured.Clarke, Thurston. By Blood and Fire, G.P. Puttnam's Sons, New York, 1981 The hotel was the site of the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan.BOOK, Nicholas, Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, Andre Deutsch, 1979, The attack initially had the approval of the Haganah. It was conceived as a response to Operation Agatha (a series of widespread raids, including one on the Jewish Agency, conducted by the British authorities) and was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era. It was characterized as one of the "most lethal terrorist incidents of the twentieth century."BOOK, Hoffman, Bruce, Inside Terrorism, 1999, Columbia University Press, 48–52, The Jewish insurgency continued throughout the rest of 1946 and 1947 despite repressive efforts by the British military and Palestine Police Force to stop it. British efforts to mediate a negotiated solution with Jewish and Arab representatives also failed as the Jews were unwilling to accept any solution that did not involve a Jewish state and suggested a partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, while the Arabs were adamant that a Jewish state in any part of Palestine was unacceptable and that the only solution was a unified Palestine under Arab rule. In February 1947, the British referred the Palestine issue to the newly formed United Nations. On 15 May 1947, the 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."WEB,weblink A/RES/106 (S-1), 15 May 1947, General Assembly resolution, United Nations, 12 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 August 2012, In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the General Assembly,WEB,weblink A/364, 3 September 1947, Special Committee on Palestine, United Nations, 12 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 June 2012, 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."JOURNAL,weblink United Nations, 20 April 1949, 31 July 2007, Background Paper No. 47 (ST/DPI/SER.A/47), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 January 2011, Meanwhile, the Jewish insurgency continued and peaked in July 1947, with a series of widespread guerrilla raids culminating in the sergeants affair. After three Irgun fighters had been sentenced to death for their role in the Acre Prison break, a May 1947 Irgun raid on Acre Prison in which 27 Irgun and Lehi militants were freed, the Irgun captured two British sergeants and held them hostage, threatening to kill them if the three men were executed. When the British carried out the executions, the Irgun responded by killing the two hostages and hanged their bodies from eucalyptus trees, booby-trapping one of them with a mine which injured a British officer as he cut the body down. The hangings caused widespread outrage in Britain and were a major factor in the consensus forming in Britain that it was time to evacuate Palestine.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 and 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, and the mounting criticism the government faced in failing to find a new policy for Palestine in place of the White Paper of 1939.Hoffman, Bruce: Anonymous Soldiers (2015)On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (II) recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union.WEB,weblink Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine, 29 November 1947, United Nations, 21 March 2017, The plan attached to the resolution was essentially that proposed by the majority of the Committee in the report of 3 September. The Jewish Agency, which was the recognized representative of the Jewish community, accepted the plan.{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=75|ps=: "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."}}{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=396|ps=: "The immediate trigger of the 1948 War was the November 1947 UN partition resolution. The Zionist movement, except for its fringes, accepted the proposal.", "The Arab war aim, in both stages of the hostilities, was, at a minimum, to abort the emergence of a Jewish state or to destroy it at inception. The Arab states hoped to accomplish this by conquering all or large parts of the territory allotted to the Jews by the United Nations. And some Arab leaders spoke of driving the Jews into the sea and ridding Palestine "of the Zionist plague." The struggle, as the Arabs saw it, was about the fate of Palestine/ the Land of Israel, all of it, not over this or that part of the country. But, in public, official Arab spokesmen often said that the aim of the May 1948 invasion was to "save" Palestine or "save the Palestinians," definitions more agreeable to Western ears."}} The Arab League and Arab Higher Committee of Palestine rejected it, and indicated that they would reject any other plan of partition.{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=66|ps=: 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.""}}{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|pp=40–41}} On the following day, 1 December 1947, the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike, and Arab gangs began attacking Jewish targets.BOOK, Palestine 1948, Gelber, Yoav, 2006, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 978-1-902210-67-4, 17, harv, The Mandate collapsed into civil war as the British evacuated Palestine and refused to implement the partition resolution. As Arab militias and gangs attacked Jewish areas, they were faced mainly by the Haganah, as well as the smaller Irgun and Lehi. Jewish forces were mainly on the defensive until early April 1948, when the Haganah moved onto the offensive.{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=77–78}}BOOK, War in Palestine, 1948: Israeli and Arab Strategy and Diplomacy, Tal, David, 2003, Routledge, 978-0-7146-5275-7, 471, harv, The Arab Palestinian economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled.{{sfn|Morris|2008}}On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel."Clifford, Clark, "Counsel to the President: A Memoir", 1991, p. 20. The only reference in the text of the Declaration to the borders of the new state is the use of the term Eretz-Israel ("Land of Israel").NEWS,weblink The Elephant in the Map Room, Jacobs, Frank, 7 August 2012, Borderlines, The New York Times, 3 September 2012, The following day, the armies of four Arab countries—Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq—entered what had been British Mandatory Palestine, launching the 1948 Arab–Israeli War;BOOK, The Arab–Israeli conflict: The Palestine War 1948, Karsh, Efraim, 2002, Osprey Publishing, 978-1-84176-372-9, 50, harv, {{Harvard citation no brackets|Ben-Sasson|1985|p=1058}} contingents from Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sudan joined the war.{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=205}}BOOK, Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, Rabinovich, Itamar, Reinharz, Jehuda, 2007, Brandeis, 74, 978-0-87451-962-4, harv,weblink 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.BOOK, David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: Israeli and Arab Strategy and Diplomacy, {{Google books, Vs2PAgAAQBAJ, PR4, yes, |year=2004|publisher=Routledge|isbn=978-1-135-77513-1|page=469|quote=some of the Arab armies invaded Palestine in order to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state, Transjordan...}}{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=187|ps=: "A week before the armies marched, Azzam told Kirkbride: "It does not matter how many [ Jews] there are. We will sweep them into the sea." ... Ahmed Shukeiry, one of Haj Amin al-Husseini's aides (and, later, the founding chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization), simply described the aim as "the elimination of the Jewish state." ... al-Quwwatli told his people: "Our army has entered ... we shall win and we shall eradicate Zionism""}} According to Benny Morris, Jews felt that the invading Arab armies aimed to slaughter the Jews.{{sfn|Morris|2008|p=198|ps=: "the Jews felt that the Arabs aimed to reenact the Holocaust and that they faced certain personal and collective slaughter should they lose"}} The Arab league stated that the invasion was to restore law and order and to prevent further bloodshed.WEB,weblink PDF copy of Cablegram from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: S/745: 15 May 1948,, 9 September 2002, 13 October 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 January 2014, After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established.BOOK, The Arab–Israeli conflict: The Palestine War 1948, Karsh, Efraim, 2002, Osprey Publishing, 978-1-84176-372-9, harv, Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip. The UN estimated that more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled from advancing Israeli forces during the conflict—what would become known in Arabic as the Nakba ("catastrophe").BOOK, Morris, Benny, Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, 978-0-521-00967-6, Cambridge University Press, 602, harv, 2004, Some 156,000 remained and became Arab citizens of Israel.WEB, Dr. Sarah Ozacky-Lazar, Relations between Jews and Arabs during Israel's first decade (in Hebrew),weblink

Early years of the State of Israel

{{further|Arab–Israeli conflict}}Israel was admitted as a member of the UN by majority vote on 11 May 1949.JOURNAL,weblink The United Nations, Two Hundred and Seventh Plenary Meeting, 11 May 1949, 13 July 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 September 2007, Both Israel and Jordan were genuinely interested in a peace agreement but the British acted as a brake on the Jordanian effort in order to avoid damaging British interests in Egypt.BOOK, William Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism, {{Google books, ATQQ0FMS1FQC, PA579, yes, |year=1984|publisher=Clarendon Press|isbn=978-0-19-822960-5|page=579 | quote="The transcript makes it clear that British policy acted as a brake on Jordan." "King Abdullah was personally anxious to come to agreement with Israel", Kirkbride stated, and in fact it was our restraining influence which had so far prevented him from doing so." Knox Helm confirmed that the Israelis hoped to have a settlement with Jordan, and that they now genuinely wished to live peacefully within their frontiers, if only for economic reasons"}} In the early years of the state, the Labor Zionist movement led by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion dominated Israeli politics.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Lustick|1988|pp=37–39}}JOURNAL,weblink Israel (Labor Zionism), Country Studies, 12 February 2010, The kibbutzim, or collective farming communities, played a pivotal role in establishing the new state.WEB,weblink The Kibbutz & Moshav: History & Overview, Jewish Virtual Library, Jewish Virtual Library, 17 June 2014, 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 ({{Abbr|lit.|literally|class=small}} "Institute for Immigration B") which organized illegal and clandestine immigration.BOOK, Anita Shapira, Land and Power, 416, 419, Stanford University Press, 1992, 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.Segev, Tom. 1949: The First Israelis. "The First Million". Trans. Arlen N. Weinstein. New York: The Free Press, 1986. Print. pp. 105–107 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.BOOK, The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands, Shulewitz, Malka Hillel, 2001, Continuum, 978-0-8264-4764-7, harv, Laskier, Michael "Egyptian Jewry under the Nasser Regime, 1956–70" pp. 573–619 from Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 31, Issue # 3, July 1995 p. 579.An influx of Holocaust survivors and Jews from Arab and Muslim countries to Israel during the first three years increased the number of Jews from 700,000 to 1,400,000. By 1958, the population of Israel rose to two million.WEB,weblink Population, by Religion, 2016, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 4 September 2016, Between 1948 and 1970, approximately 1,150,000 Jewish refugees relocated to Israel.BOOK, Bard, Mitchell, The Founding of the State of Israel, 2003, Greenhaven Press, 15, Some new immigrants arrived as refugees with no possessions and were housed in temporary camps known as ma'abarot; by 1952, over 200,000 people were living in these tent cities.BOOK, Immigrants in Turmoil: Mass Immigration to Israel and Its Repercussions in the 1950s and After, Hakohen, Devorah, 2003, Syracuse University Press, 978-0-8156-2969-6, harv, ; for ma'abarot population, see p. 269. Jews of European background were often treated more favorably than Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries—housing units reserved for the latter were often re-designated for the former, with the result that Jews newly arrived from Arab lands generally ended up staying in transit camps for longer.Clive Jones, Emma Murphy, Israel: Challenges to Identity, Democracy, and the State, Routledge 2002 p. 37: "Housing units earmarked for the Oriental Jews were often reallocated to European Jewish immigrants; Consigning Oriental Jews to the privations of ma'aborot (transit camps) for longer periods." Tensions that developed between the two groups over such discrimination persist to the present day.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Segev|2007|pp=155–157}} During this period, food, clothes and furniture had to be rationed in what became known as the austerity period. The need to solve the crisis led Ben-Gurion to sign a reparations agreement with West Germany that triggered mass protests by Jews angered at the idea that Israel could accept monetary compensation for the Holocaust.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Shindler|2002|pp=49–50}}File:1961-04-13 Tale Of Century - Eichmann Tried For War Crimes.ogv|thumb|U.S. newsreel on the trial of Adolf EichmannAdolf EichmannDuring the 1950s, Israel was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, nearly always against civilians,BOOK, Kameel B. Nasr, Arab and Israeli Terrorism: The Causes and Effects of Political Violence, 1936–1993, {{Google books, QRXURzwdXS4C, PA40, yes, |year=1996|publisher=McFarland|isbn=978-0-7864-3105-2|pages=40–|quote=Fedayeen to attack...almost always against civilians}} mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Gilbert|2005|p=58}} leading to several Israeli counter-raids. In 1956, Great Britain 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.BOOK, Isaac Alteras, Eisenhower and Israel: U.S.-Israeli Relations, 1953–1960, {{Google books, ydRHCPWngioC, PA192, yes, |year=1993|publisher=University Press of Florida|isbn=978-0-8130-1205-6|pages=192–|quote="the removal of the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba. The blockade closed Israel's sea lane to East Africa and the Far East, hindering the development of Israel's southern port of Eilat and its hinterland, the Nege. Another important objective of the Israeli war plan was the elimination of the terrorist bases in the Gaza Strip, from which daily fedayeen incursions into Israel made life unbearable for its southern population. And last but not least, the concentration of the Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula, armed with the newly acquired weapons from the Soviet bloc, prepared for an attack on Israel. Here, Ben-Gurion believed, was a time bomb that had to be defused before it was too late. Reaching the Suez Canal did not figure at all in Israel's war objectives. "}}BOOK, Dominic Joseph Caraccilo, Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy, {{Google books, FDA8dQyaQ9MC, PA113, yes, |date=2011|publisher=ABC-CLIO|isbn=978-0-313-39149-1|pages=113–|quote=The escalation continued with the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956. On October 14, Nasser made clear his intent:"I am not solely fighting against Israel itself. My task is to deliver the Arab world from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad. Our hatred is very strong. There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel. There is not even the smallest place for negotiations." Less than two weeks later, on October 25, Egypt signed a tripartite agreement with Syria and Jordan placing Nasser in command of all three armies. The continued blockade of the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, combined with the increased fedayeen attacks and the bellicosity of recent Arab statements, prompted Israel, with the backing of Britain and France, to attack Egypt on October 29, 1956.}}BOOK, Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, {{Google books, 9iFxq6NPPgEC, PA102, yes, |year=2005|publisher=Polity|isbn=978-0-7456-3202-5|pages=102–|quote=Gamal Abdel Nasser, who declared in one speech that "Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death."...The level of violence against Israelis, soldiers and civilians alike, seemed to be rising inexorably.}}WEB, The Jewish Virtual Library, The Sinai-Suez Campaign: Background & Overview,weblink In 1955, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser began to import arms from the Soviet Bloc to build his arsenal for the confrontation with Israel. In the short-term, however, he employed a new tactic to prosecute Egypt's war with Israel. He announced it on August 31, 1955: Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death. These "heroes" were Arab terrorists, or fedayeen, trained and equipped by Egyptian Intelligence to engage in hostile action on the border and infiltrate Israel to commit acts of sabotage and murder., Israel joined a secret alliance with Great Britain 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.NEWS,weblink Suez Crisis: Key players, 21 July 2006, 19 July 2018, en-GB, WEB,weblink The Suez Crisis, Schoenherr, Steven, 15 December 2005, 31 May 2013, BOOK, The Suez Crisis, Gorst, Anthony, Johnman, Lewis, 1997, Routledge, 978-0-415-11449-3, harv, The war, known as the Suez Crisis, resulted in significant reduction of Israeli border infiltration.BOOK, Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–1998, {{Google books, jGtVsBne7PgC, yes, |date=25 May 2011|publisher=Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|isbn=978-0-307-78805-4|pages=300, 301|quote=[p. 300] In exchange (for Israeli withdrawal) the United states had indirectly promised to guarantee Israel's right of passage through the straits (to the Red sea) and its right to self defense if the Egyptian closed them....(p 301) The 1956 war resulted in a significant reduction of...Israeli border tension. Egypt refrained from reactivating the Fedaeen, and...Egypt and Jordan made great effort to curb infiltration}}WEB, National insurance institute of Israel, Hostile Action Casualties,weblink hebrew, list of people who were kiled in hostile action: 53 In 1956, 19 in 1957, 15 in 1958, WEB, jewish virtual library, Terrorism Against Israel: Number of Fatalities,weblink 53 at 1956, 19 at 1957, 15 at 1958, WEB, Jewish virtual library, MYTH "Israel's military strike in 1956 was unprovoked.",weblink Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban explained ... As a result of these actions of Egyptian hostility within Israel, 364 Israelis were wounded and 101 killed. In 1956 alone, as a result of this aspect of Egyptian aggression, 28 Israelis were killed and 127 wounded., In the early 1960s, Israel captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and brought him to Israel for trial.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Adolf Eichmann, Jewish Virtual Library, 18 September 2007, The trial had a major impact on public awareness of the Holocaust.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Cole|2003|p=27}}. "... the Eichmann trial, which did so much to raise public awareness of the Holocaust ..." Eichmann remains the only person executed in Israel by conviction in an Israeli civilian court.JOURNAL, Shlomo Shpiro, No place to hide: Intelligence and civil liberties in Israel, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 19, 44, 629–648, 2006, 10.1080/09557570601003361, File:Six Day War Territories.svg|thumb|upright|Territory held by Israel: {{legend|#ffffd0|before the Six-Day War}} {{legend|#f7d3aa|after the war}} The Sinai PeninsulaSinai PeninsulaSince 1964, Arab countries, concerned over Israeli plans to divert waters of the Jordan River into the coastal plain,"The Politics of Miscalculation in the Middle East", by Richard B. Parker (1993 Indiana University Press) p. 38 had been trying to divert the headwaters to deprive Israel of water resources, provoking tensions between Israel on the one hand, and Syria and Lebanon on the other. Arab nationalists led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser refused to recognize Israel, and called for its destruction.BOOK, Syria and Israel: From War to Peacemaking, Maoz, Moshe, 1995, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-828018-7, 70, harv, NEWS,weblink On This Day 5 Jun, 5 June 1967, BBC, 26 December 2011, By 1966, Israeli-Arab relations had deteriorated to the point of actual battles taking place between Israeli and Arab forces.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Segev|2007|p=178}} 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.BOOK, Gat, Moshe, Britain and the Conflict in the Middle East, 1964–1967: The Coming of the Six-Day War,weblink Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, 202, 978-0-275-97514-2, John Quigley, The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense: Questioning the Legal Basis for Preventive War, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 32.BOOK, Samir A. Mutawi, Jordan in the 1967 War, {{Google books, g9bBJusRJIMC, yes, |year=2002|publisher=Cambridge University Press| isbn=978-0-521-52858-0|page=93| quote=Although Eshkol denounced the Egyptians, his response to this development was a model of moderation. His speech on 21 May demanded that Nasser withdraw his forces from Sinai but made no mention of the removal of UNEF from the Straits nor of what Israel would do if they were closed to Israeli shipping. The next day Nasser announced to an astonished world that henceforth the Straits were, indeed, closed to all Israeli ships}} Other Arab states mobilized their forces.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Segev|2007|p=289}} 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 defeated Jordan and captured the West Bank, defeated Egypt and captured the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, and defeated Syria and captured the Golan Heights.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Smith|2006|p=126}}. "Nasser, the Egyptian president, decided to mass troops in the Sinai ... casus belli by Israel." Jerusalem's boundaries were enlarged, incorporating East Jerusalem, and the 1949 Green Line became the administrative boundary between Israel and the occupied territories.Following the 1967 war and the "Three No's" resolution of the Arab League and during the 1967–1970 War of Attrition, Israel faced attacks from the Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula, and from Palestinian groups targeting Israelis in the occupied territories, in Israel proper, and around the world. Most important among the various Palestinian and Arab groups was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), established in 1964, which initially committed itself to "armed struggle as the only way to liberate the homeland".NEWS,weblink The Interregnum, Bennet, James, 13 March 2005, The New York Times Magazine, 11 February 2010, harv, WEB,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs â€“ The Palestinian National Covenant – July 1968,, 13 March 2009, In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Palestinian groups launched a wave of attacksBOOK, Research on Terrorism: Trends, Achievements and Failures, Silke, Andrew, 2004, Routledge, 978-0-7146-8273-0, 149 (256 pp.),weblink 8 March 2010, harv, BOOK, The Routledge Atlas of the Arab–Israeli Conflict: The Complete History of the Struggle and the Efforts to Resolve It, Gilbert, Martin, 2002, Routledge, 978-0-415-28116-4, 82,weblink 8 March 2010, harv, against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world,NEWS,weblink George Habash, Palestinian Terrorism Tactician, Dies at 82, Edmund, Andrews, Edmund Andrews (reporter), John, Kifner, John Kifner, The New York Times, 27 January 2008, 29 March 2012, including a massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The Israeli government responded with an assassination campaign against the organizers of the massacre, a bombing and a raid on the PLO headquarters in Lebanon.On 6 October 1973, as Jews were observing Yom Kippur, the Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces in the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights, that opened the Yom Kippur War. The war ended on 25 October with Israel successfully repelling Egyptian and Syrian forces but having suffered over 2,500 soldiers killed in a war which collectively took 10–35,000 lives in about 20 days.JOURNAL,weblink 1973: Arab states attack Israeli forces, On This Day, 15 July 2007, 6 October 1973, An internal inquiry exonerated the government of responsibility for failures before and during the war, but public anger forced Prime Minister Golda Meir to resign.JOURNAL,weblink Agranat Commission, Knesset, 2008, 8 April 2010, In July 1976, an airliner was hijacked during its flight from Israel to France by Palestinian guerrillas and landed at Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos carried out an operation in which 102 out of 106 Israeli hostages were successfully rescued.

Further conflict and peace process

{{Further|Israeli–Palestinian peace process|Iran–Israel proxy conflict}}{{See also|One-state solution|Two-state solution|Three-state solution|Lieberman Plan}}The 1977 Knesset elections marked a major turning point in Israeli political history as Menachem Begin's Likud party took control from the Labor Party.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|pp=169–170}} "In hindsight we can say that 1977 was a turning point ..." Later that year, Egyptian President 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.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|pp=171–174}} In the two years that followed, Sadat and Begin signed the Camp David Accords (1978) and the Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty (1979).{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|pp=186–187}} 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.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|pp=186}}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.File:View from Tayelet during Snow 07.jpg|thumb|Israel's 1980 law declared that "(Jerusalem]], complete and united, is the capital of Israel."WEB,weblink Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, Knesset, 14 January 2017, )Meanwhile, Begin's government provided incentives for Israelis to settle in the occupied West Bank, increasing friction with the Palestinians in that area.BOOK, A history of the modern Middle East, Cleveland, William L., 1999, Westview Press, 978-0-8133-3489-9, 356, harv,weblink The (Jerusalem Law|Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel), passed in 1980, was believed by some to reaffirm Israel's 1967 annexation of Jerusalem by government decree, and reignited international controversy over the status of the city. No Israeli legislation has defined the territory of Israel and no act specifically included East Jerusalem therein.JOURNAL, Lustick, Ian, 1997, Has Israel Annexed East Jerusalem?, Middle East Policy, V, 1, 34–45, 1061-1924, 4651987544, 10.1111/j.1475-4967.1997.tb00247.x,weblink 1 June 2013, harv, The position of the majority of UN member states is reflected in numerous resolutions declaring that actions taken by Israel to settle its citizens in the West Bank, and impose its laws and administration on East Jerusalem, are illegal and have no validity.See for example UN General Assembly resolution 63/30, passed 163 for, 6 against WEB,weblink Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 23 January 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 January 2011, In 1981 Israel annexed the Golan Heights, although annexation was not recognized internationally.NEWS,weblink Golan Heights profile, 27 November 2015, BBC News, 6 January 2017, Israel's population diversity expanded in the 1980s and 1990s. Several waves of Ethiopian Jews immigrated to Israel since the 1980s, while between 1990 and 1994, immigration from the post-Soviet states increased Israel's population by twelve percent.JOURNAL,weblink The Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2001, The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market, Friedberg, Rachel M., 1373–1408, 4, 10.1162/003355301753265606, 116, harv,, On 7 June 1981, the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's sole nuclear reactor under construction just outside Baghdad, in order to impede Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Following a series of PLO attacks in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon that year to destroy the bases from which the PLO launched attacks and missiles into northern Israel.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|p=199}} In the first six days of fighting, the Israelis destroyed the military forces of the PLO in Lebanon and decisively defeated the Syrians. An Israeli government inquiry—the Kahan Commission—would later hold Begin and several Israeli generals as indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre and hold Defense minister Ariel Sharon as bearing "personal responsibility" for the massacre BOOK, Schiff, Ze'ev, Ze'ev Schiff, Ehud, Yaari, Ehud Yaari, Israel's Lebanon War, Simon & Schuster, 1984, 284, 0-671-47991-1,weblink Sharon was forced to resign as Defense Minister.BOOK, Silver, Eric, Eric Silver, Begin: The Haunted Prophet, Random House, 1984, 239, 0-394-52826-3,weblink 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,BOOK, A History of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Tessler, Mark A., 1994, Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-20873-6, 677, harv,weblink 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 organised and included economic and cultural measures aimed at disrupting the Israeli occupation. More than a thousand people were killed in the violence.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Stone|Zenner|1994|p=246}}. "Toward the end of 1991 ... were the result of internal Palestinian terror." 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.NEWS,weblink After 4 Years, Intifada Still Smolders, The New York Times, 9 December 1991, 28 March 2008, Haberman, Clyde, harv, {{Harvard citation no brackets |Mowlana |Gerbner |Schiller |1992 |p=111}}File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Foreign Min. Peres and King Hussein.jpg|thumb|Shimon Peres (left) with Yitzhak Rabin (center) and King Hussein of Jordan (right), prior to signing the Israel–Jordan peace treatyIsrael–Jordan peace treatyIn 1992, Yitzhak Rabin became Prime Minister following an election in which his party called for compromise with Israel's neighbors.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|p=236}}WEB,weblink Boston College, From the End of the Cold War to 2001, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 August 2013, The following year, Shimon Peres on behalf of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas for the PLO, signed the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinian National Authority the right to govern parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.JOURNAL,weblink U.S. Department of State, The Oslo Accords, 1993, 30 March 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 January 2010, The PLO also recognized Israel's right to exist and pledged an end to terrorism.JOURNAL,weblink Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel–PLO Recognition â€“ Exchange of Letters between PM Rabin and Chairman Arafat â€“ Sept 9, 1993, 31 March 2010, In 1994, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed, making Jordan the second Arab country to normalize relations with Israel.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Harkavy|Neuman|2001|p=270}}. "Even though Jordan in 1994 became the second country, after Egypt to sign a peace treaty with Israel ..." Arab public support for the Accords was damaged by the continuation of Israeli settlementsWEB,weblink Sources of Population Growth: Total Israeli Population and Settler Population, 1991–2003, 20 March 2012, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Settlements information, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2013, and checkpoints, and the deterioration of economic conditions.BOOK, Negotiating Arab-Israeli peace: American leadership in the Middle East, Kurtzer, Daniel, Lasensky, Scott, 2008, United States Institute of Peace Press, 978-1-60127-030-6, 44, harv,weblink Israeli public support for the Accords waned as Israel was struck by Palestinian suicide attacks.BOOK, A history of the modern Middle East, Cleveland, William L., 1999, Westview Press, 978-0-8133-3489-9, 494, harv,weblink In November 1995, while leaving a peace rally, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a far-right-wing Jew who opposed the Accords.NEWS, Israel marks Rabin assassination, BBC News, 12 November 2005,weblink File:PikiWiki_Israel_19099_ruins_of_tel_aviv_dolphinarium.JPG|thumb|The site of the 2001 Tel Aviv Dolphinarium discotheque massacreDolphinarium discotheque massacreUnder the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of the 1990s, Israel withdrew from Hebron,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Bregman|2002|p=257}} and signed the Wye River Memorandum, giving greater control to the Palestinian National Authority.JOURNAL,weblink U.S. Department of State, The Wye River Memorandum, 23 October 1998, 30 March 2010, Ehud Barak, elected Prime Minister in 1999, began the new millennium by withdrawing forces from Southern Lebanon and conducting negotiations with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and U.S. President Bill Clinton at the 2000 Camp David Summit. During the summit, Barak offered a plan for the establishment of a 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.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Gelvin|2005|p=240}} Each side blamed the other for the failure of the talks. After a controversial visit by Likud leader Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, the Second Intifada began. Some commentators contend that the uprising was pre-planned by Arafat due to the collapse of peace talks.WEB,weblink The big myth: that he caused the Second Intifada, Gross, Tom, 16 January 2014, The Jewish Chronicle, 22 April 2016, NEWS, Hong, Nicole, 23 February 2015, Jury Finds Palestinian Authority, PLO Liable for Terrorist Attacks in Israel a Decade Ago,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 22 April 2016, WEB,weblink PA: Intifada Was Planned, Ain, Stewart, 20 December 2000, The Jewish Week,weblink" title="">weblink 13 October 2007, NEWS, In a Ruined Country, David, Samuels,weblink The Atlantic, 1 September 2005, 27 March 2013, 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,NEWS, West Bank barrier route disputed, Israeli missile kills 2,weblink USA Today, 29 July 2004, 1 October 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2012, ending the Intifada.NEWS, Years of rage, Amos, Harel, Avi, Issacharoff,weblink Haaretz, 1 October 2010, 12 August 2012, NEWS, Losing Faith in the Intifada, Laura, King,weblink Los Angeles Times, 28 September 2004, 12 August 2012, ; NEWS,weblink From Jenin To Fallujah?, Diehl, Jackson, 27 September 2004, The Washington Post, 12 August 2012, ; WEB,weblink Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience, Amidror, Yaakov, Strategic Perspectives, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 12 August 2012, ; NEWS,weblink Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?, Pipes, Daniel, 14 September 2008, The Washington Times, 12 August 2012, ; WEB,weblink The Need for a Decisive Israeli Victory Over Hamas, Frisch, Hillel, 12 January 2009, Perspectives Papers on Current Affairs, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, 12 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 June 2012, ; WEB,weblink The "Defensive Shield" Operation as a Turning Point in Israel's National Security Strategy, Buchris, Ofek, 9 March 2006, Strategy Research Project, United States Army War College, 12 August 2012, ; NEWS,weblink Israel's Intifada Victory, Krauthammer, Charles, 18 June 2004, The Washington Post, 12 August 2012, ; WEB,weblink 2nd Intifada forgotten, Plocker, Sever, 22 June 2008, Ynetnews, 12 August 2012, ; WEB,weblink Lessons from the Palestinian 'War' against Israel, Ya'alon, Moshe, January 2007, Policy Focus, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 12 August 2012, ; WEB,weblink Letting the IDF win, Hendel, Yoaz, 20 September 2010, Ynetnews, 12 August 2012, ; BOOK, Zvi Shtauber, Yiftah Shapir, The Middle East strategic balance, 2004–2005, {{Google books, t7C-ZDXrfOgC, PA7, yes, |accessdate=12 February 2012|year=2006|publisher=Sussex Academic Press|isbn=978-1-84519-108-5|page=7}} By this time 1,100 Israelis had been killed, mostly in suicide bombings.WEB,weblink Comprehensive Listing of Terrorism Victims in Israel,, The Palestinian fatalities, from 2000 to 2008, reached 4,791 killed by Israeli security forces, 44 killed by Israeli civilians, and 609 killed by Palestinians.WEB,weblink Fatalities before Operation "Cast Lead", B'Tselem, 14 January 2017, In July 2006, a Hezbollah artillery assault on Israel's northern border communities and a cross-border abduction of two Israeli soldiers precipitated the month-long Second Lebanon War.WEB,weblink Security Council Calls for End to Hostilities between Hizbollah, Israel, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1701 (2006), United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, 11 August 2006, Escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006NEWS,weblink Hezbollah kills 8 soldiers, kidnaps two in offensive on northern border, 20 March 2012, Harel, Amos, 13 July 2006, Haaretz, On 6 September 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria. At the end of 2008, Israel entered another conflict as a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed. The 2008–09 Gaza War lasted three weeks and ended after Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire.NEWS, Jason, Koutsoukis, Battleground Gaza: Israeli ground forces invade the strip,weblink Sydney Morning Herald, 5 January 2009, 5 January 2009, harv, NEWS, Ravid, Barak, IDF begins Gaza troop withdrawal, hours after ending 3-week offensive, Haaretz, 20 March 2012, 18 January 2009,weblink 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.NEWS, Yuval, Azoulay,weblink Two IDF soldiers, civilian lightly hurt as Gaza mortars hit Negev, Haaretz, 1 January 2009, 20 March 2012, In what Israel described as a response to more than a hundred Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities,NEWS, Gaza groups pound Israel with over 100 rockets, Yaakov, Lappin, Tovah, Lazaroff,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 12 November 2012, 27 March 2013, Israel began an operation in Gaza on 14 November 2012, lasting eight days.NEWS, Stephanie Nebehay,weblink UN rights boss, Red Cross urge Israel, Hamas to spare civilians, Reuters, 20 November 2012, 20 November 2012, ; NEWS, Hamas leader defiant as Israel eases Gaza curbs, Nidal, al-Mughrabi,weblink Reuters, 24 November 2012, 8 February 2013, ; WEB,weblink Israeli air strike kills top Hamas commander Jabari, The Jerusalem Post, 14 November 2012, Israel started another operation in Gaza following an escalation of rocket attacks by Hamas in July 2014.NEWS, Israel and Hamas Trade Attacks as Tension Rises,weblink The New York Times, 8 July 2014, In September 2010, Israel was invited to join the OECD. Israel has also signed free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, and Egypt, and in 2007, it became the first non-Latin-American country to sign a free trade agreement with the Mercosur trade bloc.{{Citation |url= |title=Israel's Free Trade Area Agreements |publisher=Tamas |place=IL |accessdate=8 September 2011 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=3 October 2011 }}WEB,weblink Israel signs free trade agreement with Mercosur, 19 December 2007, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 15 October 2012, By 2010s, the increasing regional cooperation between Israel and Arab League countries, with many of whom peace agreements (Jordan, Egypt) diplomatic relations (UAE, Palestine) and unofficial relations (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia), have been established, the Israeli security situation shifted from the traditional Arab–Israeli hostility towards regional rivalry with Iran and its proxies. The Iranian–Israeli conflict gradually emerged from the declared hostility of post-revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran towards Israel since 1979, into covert Iranian support of Hezbollah during the South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000) and essentially developed into a proxy regional conflict from 2005. With increasing Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War from 2011 the conflict shifted from proxy warfare into direct confrontation by early 2018.

Geography and environment

{{Israel Geographical Map}}{{multiple image|caption_align=center|total_width=220|image1=Satellite image of Israel in January 2003.jpg|width1=727|height1=1731|image2=Israel at night.jpg|width2=425|height2=934|footer=Satellite images of Israel and neighboring territories during the day (left) and night (right)}}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 {{convert|20770|km2|sqmi|0|sp=us}} in area, of which two percent is water. 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.NEWS,weblink Israel Navy to devote majority of missile boats to secure offshore drilling rafts, Gili, Cohen, 9 January 2012, Haaretz, The total area under Israeli law, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, is {{convert|22072|km2|sqmi|0|sp=us}},WEB,weblink Area of Districts, Sub-Districts, Natural Regions and Lakes, 11 September 2012, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 13 June 2013, and the total area under Israeli control, including the military-controlled and partially Palestinian-governed territory of the West Bank, is {{convert|27799|km2|sqmi|0|sp=us}}.JOURNAL,weblink 7 May 2009, Israel (Geography), Country Studies, 12 February 2010, Despite its small size, Israel is home to a variety of geographic features, from the Negev desert in the south to the inland fertile Jezreel Valley, mountain ranges of the Galilee, Carmel and toward the Golan in the north. The Israeli coastal plain on the shores of the Mediterranean is home to most of the nation's population.WEB,weblink The Coastal Plain, Israel Ministry of Tourism, 6 January 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 7 January 2017, dead, East of the central highlands lies the Jordan Rift Valley, which forms a small part of the {{convert|6500|km|mi|0|adj=on|sp=us}} Great Rift Valley. The Jordan River runs along the Jordan Rift Valley, from Mount Hermon through the Hulah Valley and the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the surface of the Earth.BOOK,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 July 2007, 1999, The Living Dead Sea, 978-0-8264-0406-0, Further south is the Arabah, ending with the Gulf of Eilat, part of the Red Sea. Unique to Israel and the Sinai Peninsula are makhteshim, or erosion cirques.BOOK,weblink UNESCO, Makhteshim Country, 19 September 2007, 978-954-642-135-7, 2001, The largest makhtesh in the world is Ramon Crater in the Negev,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Jacobs|1998|p=284}}. "The extraordinary Makhtesh Ramon â€“ the largest natural crater in the world ..." BOOK,weblink Israel and the Palestinian Territories, 24 February 2016, 978-1-85828-248-0, Jacobs, Daniel, Eber, Shirley, Silvani, Francesca, (Firm), Rough Guides, 1998, , which measures {{convert|40|by|8|km|mi|0|sp=us}}.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Jewish Virtual Library, Makhtesh Ramon, 12 February 2010, A report on the environmental status of the Mediterranean Basin states that Israel has the largest number of plant species per square meter of all the countries in the basin.NEWS, Rinat, Zafrir, More endangered than rain forests?, Haaretz, Tel Aviv, 20 March 2012, 29 May 2008,weblink

Tectonics and seismicity

{{Further|List of earthquakes in the Levant}}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 {{M|w}}~7.4.JOURNAL, A 48-kyr-long slip rate history for the Jordan Valley segment of the Dead Sea Fault, Ferry M., Meghraoui M., Karaki A.A., Al-Taj M., Amoush H., Al-Dhaisat S., Barjous M., Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2008, 260, 3–4, 394–406, 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.05.049, 2007E&PSL.260..394F, The most catastrophic known earthquakes occurred in 31 BCE, 363, 749, and 1033 CE, that is every {{Abbr|ca.|circa}} 400 years on average.American Friends of the Tel Aviv University, Earthquake Experts at Tel Aviv University Turn to History for Guidance (4 October 2007). Quote: The major ones were recorded along the Jordan Valley in the years 31 B.C.E., 363 C.E., 749 C.E., and 1033 C.E. "So roughly, we are talking about an interval of every 400 years. If we follow the patterns of nature, a major quake should be expected any time because almost a whole millennium has passed since the last strong earthquake of 1033." (Tel Aviv University Associate Professor Dr. Shmuel (Shmulik) Marco). weblink Destructive earthquakes leading to serious loss of life strike about every 80 years.Zafrir Renat, Israel Is Due, and Ill Prepared, for Major Earthquake, Haaretz, 15 January 2010. "On average, a destructive earthquake takes place in Israel once every 80 years, causing serious casualties and damage." weblink While stringent construction regulations are currently in place and recently built structures are earthquake-safe, {{As of|2007|lc=y}} 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.


File:Israel map of Köppen climate classification.svg|thumb|upright=1.2|Köppen climate classificationKöppen climate classificationTemperatures 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 continent of Asia ({{convert|54.0|°C|°F|disp=or}}) was recorded in 1942 at Tirat Zvi kibbutz in the northern Jordan River valley.NEWS, Watzman, Haim, Left for dead, 20 March 2012, 8 February 1997,weblink New Scientist, London, WEB,weblink WMO Region 6: Highest Temperature, World Meteorological Organization, 3 April 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 April 2015, At the other extreme, mountainous regions can be windy and cold, and areas at elevation of {{Convert|750|m|}} or more (same elevation as Jerusalem) will usually receive at least one snowfall each year.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Goldreich|2003|p=85}} From May to September, rain in Israel is rare.JOURNAL,weblink The Weather Channel, 11 July 2007, Average Weather for Tel Aviv-Yafo, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 January 2013, JOURNAL,weblink The Weather Channel, 11 July 2007, Average Weather for Jerusalem, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 January 2013, With scarce water resources, Israel has developed various water-saving technologies, including drip irrigation.JOURNAL,weblink Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7 November 2007, Development of Limited Water Resources – Historical and Technological Aspects, 20 September 2003, Sitton, Dov, 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).Four different phytogeographic regions exist 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.WEB,weblink Flora of Israel Online,, 29 September 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 April 2014, There are 380 Israeli nature reserves.WEB,weblink National Parks and Nature Reserves, Israel, Israel Ministry of Tourism, 18 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 19 October 2012, dead, File:Dover tverya17.jpg|Tiberias and the Sea of GalileeFile:Calaniyot-OrHaner001.jpg|Field of Anemone coronaria, national flower of IsraelFile:Israel-2013-Aerial 00-Negev-Makhtesh Ramon.jpg|Makhtesh Ramon, a type of crater unique to Israel and the Sinai PeninsulaFile:Snow 0466.JPG|Snow in GalileeFile:Flowers-of-Israel-ver006.jpg|Flowers of Israel


File:Israelpop.svg|thumb|Population pyramidPopulation pyramidAs of 2019, Israel's population was an estimated {{data Israel|poptoday|formatnum}}, of whom 74.2% were recorded by the civil government as Jews.REPORT,weblink Israel's Independence Day 2019, 6 May 2019, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 7 May 2019, Arabs comprised 20.9% of the population, while non-Arab Christians and people who have no religion listed in the civil registry made up 4.8%. Over the last decade, large numbers of migrant workers from Romania, Thailand, China, Africa, and South America have settled in Israel. Exact figures are unknown, as many of them are living in the country illegally,NEWS,weblink ISRAEL: Crackdown on illegal migrants and visa violators, IRIN, 14 July 2009, but estimates run from 166,000 to 203,000.Adriana Kemp, "Labour migration and racialisation: labour market mechanisms and labour migration control policies in Israel", Social Identities 10:2, 267–292, 2004 By June 2012, approximately 60,000 African migrants had entered Israel.NEWS,weblink Israel rounds up African migrants for deportation, Reuters, 11 June 2012, About 92% of Israelis live in urban areas.WEB,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Land: Urban Life, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 June 2013, 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.(File:Aliyah 1948-2015.png|upright=1.35|thumb|Immigration to Israel in the years 1948–2015. The two peaks were in 1949 and 1990.)Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people and is often referred to as a Jewish state. The country's Law of Return grants all Jews and those of Jewish ancestry the right to Israeli citizenship.JOURNAL,weblink Knesset, The Law of Return, 14 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 November 2005, Retention of Israel's population since 1948 is about even or greater, when compared to other countries with mass immigration.BOOK, DellaPergola, Sergio, Sergio DellaPergola, Still Moving: Recent Jewish Migration in Comparative Perspective, Daniel J. Elazar, Morton Weinfeld, The Global Context of Migration to Israel, 2000, 2000, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 978-1-56000-428-8, 13–60, harv, Jewish emigration from Israel (called yerida in Hebrew), primarily to the United States and Canada, is described by demographers as modest,JOURNAL, Herman, Pini, The Myth of the Israeli Expatriate, Moment Magazine, 8, 8, 62–63, 1 September 1983, harv, but is often cited by Israeli government ministries as a major threat to Israel's future.JOURNAL, Gould, Eric D., Moav, Omer, 2007, Israel's Brain Drain, Israel Economic Review, 5, 1, 1–22, 2180400, NEWS, Rettig Gur, Haviv, Officials to US to bring Israelis home, The Jerusalem Post, 6 April 2008,weblink 20 March 2012, Three quarters of the population are Jews from a diversity of Jewish backgrounds. Approximately 75% of Israeli Jews are born in Israel, 16% are immigrants from Europe and the Americas, and 7% are immigrants from Asia and Africa (including the Arab world).WEB,weblink Jews, by Continent of Origin, Continent of Birth & Period of Immigration, 6 September 2017, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 19 September 2017, Jews from Europe and the former Soviet Union and their descendants born in Israel, including Ashkenazi Jews, constitute approximately 50% of Jewish Israelis. Jews who left or fled Arab and Muslim countries and their descendants, including both Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews,JOURNAL,weblink From Sephardi to Mizrahi and Back Again: Changing Meanings of "Sephardi" in Its Social Environments, Jewish Social Studies, 15, 1, 165–188, 2008, Goldberg, Harvey E., 10.18647/2793/JJS-2008, form most of the rest of the Jewish population.NEWS,weblink The myth of the Mizrahim, The Guardian, 3 April 2009, London, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries, Shields, Jacqueline, Jewish Virtual Library, 26 April 2012, WEB,weblink Missing Mizrahim, 31 August 2009, Jewish intermarriage rates run at over 35% and recent studies suggest that the percentage of Israelis descended from both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews increases by 0.5 percent every year, with over 25% of school children now originating from both communities.WEB,weblink Socioeconomic Status and Demographic Behavior of Adult Multiethnics: Jews in Israel, Okun, Barbara S., Khait-Marelly, Orna, 2006, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 26 May 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2013, Around 4% of Israelis (300,000), ethnically defined as "others", are 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.WEB,weblink Jewish Demographic Policies, The Jewish People Policy Institute, 2011, DellaPergola, Sergio, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Israel (people),, 2007, NEWS, Yoram Ettinger, Defying demographic projections,weblink 29 October 2013, Israel Hayom, 5 April 2013, The total number of Israeli settlers beyond the Green Line is over 600,000 (≈10% of the Jewish Israeli population).MAGAZINE, Gorenberg, Gershom, 26 June 2017, Settlements: The Real Story,weblink The American Prospect, 25 August 2017, {{As of|2016|alt=In 2016}}, 399,300 Israelis lived in West Bank settlements, including those that predated the establishment of the State of Israel and which were re-established after the Six-Day War, in cities such as Hebron and Gush Etzion bloc. In addition to the West Bank settlements, there were more than 200,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem, and 22,000 in the Golan Heights.WEB,weblink The Golan Heights factor and the future of destabilized Syria, Beat, Maria, 7 May 2019, Daily Sabah, 9 May 2019, Approximately 7,800 Israelis lived in settlements in the Gaza Strip, known as Gush Katif, until they were evacuated by the government as part of its 2005 disengagement plan.JOURNAL,weblink Settlements in the Gaza Strip, 12 December 2007, Settlement Information, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2013,

Major urban areas

{{wide image|Tel Aviv Panorama.jpg|1000px|View over Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area}}There are four major metropolitan areas: Gush Dan (Tel Aviv metropolitan area; population 3,854,000), Jerusalem metropolitan area (population 1,253,900), Haifa metropolitan area (population 924,400), and Beersheba metropolitan area (population 377,100).WEB,weblink Localities, Population and Density per Sq. Km., by Metropolitan Area and Selected Localities, 6 September 2017, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 19 September 2017, Israel's largest municipality, in population and area, is Jerusalem with {{Israel populations|Jerusalem}} residents in an area of {{convert|125|km2|0|abbr=out}}.{{Israel populations|reference}} Israeli government statistics on Jerusalem include the population and area of East Jerusalem, which is widely recognized as part of the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Roberts|1990|p=60}} Although East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights have been brought directly under Israeli law, by acts that amount to annexation, both of these areas continue to be viewed by the international community as occupied, and their status as regards the applicability of international rules is in most respects identical to that of the West Bank and Gaza. Tel Aviv and Haifa rank as Israel's next most populous cities, with populations of {{Israel populations|Tel Aviv - Yafo}} and {{Israel populations|Haifa}}, respectively.{{Israel populations|reference}}Israel has 16 cities with populations over 100,000. In all, there are 77 Israeli localities granted "municipalities" (or "city") status by the Ministry of the Interior,2.22 Localities and Population, by Municipal Status and District, 2018 four of which are in the West Bank.WEB,weblink List of Cities in Israel, Two more cities are planned: Kasif, a planned city to be built in the Negev, and Harish, originally a small town that is being built into a large city since 2015.NEWS,weblink New town Harish harbors hopes of being more than another Pleasantville, The Times of Israel, 2 July 2018, 25 August 2015, {{Largest cities of Israel}}


File:שלט רחוב יהודה (3777232251).jpg|thumb|Road sign in Hebrew, Arabic, and English ]]Israel has one official language, Hebrew. Arabic had been an official language of the State of Israel; in 2018 (Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People|it was downgraded) to having a 'special status in the state' with its use by state institutions to be set in law. 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 immigrants, many languages can be heard on the streets. Due to mass immigration from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia (some 130,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel),Israel Central Bureau of Statistics: The Ethiopian Community in IsraelNEWS,weblink Israel may admit 3,000 Ethiopia migrants if Jews, Reuters, 16 July 2009, Russian and Amharic are widely spoken.NEWS, Israel's welcome for Ethiopian Jews wears thin, Bill, Meyer,weblink The Plain Dealer, 17 August 2008, 1 October 2012, More than one million Russian-speaking immigrants arrived in Israel from the post-Soviet states between 1990 and 2004.NEWS,weblink Study: Soviet immigrants outperform Israeli students, Haaretz, 10 February 2008, French is spoken by around 700,000 Israelis,NEWS,weblink French radio station RFI makes aliyah, Ynetnews, 5 December 2011, mostly originating from France and North Africa (see Maghrebi Jews). English was an official language during the Mandate period; it lost this status after the establishment of Israel, but retains a role comparable to that of an official language,BOOK, Spolsky, Bernard, Round Table on Language and Linguistics, {{Google books, ljumbfV_7y0C, PA169, yes, |year=1999|publisher=Georgetown University Press|location=Washington, DC |isbn=978-0-87840-132-1 |pages=169–170 |quote=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.}}BOOK, Hava, Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot, Hava, Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot, Dorit, Diskin Ravid, Perspectives on Language and Development: Essays in Honor of Ruth A. Berman, {{Google books, xMzx6xFB0IgC, PA90, yes, |publisher=Kluwer Academic Publishers |date=2004 |page=90 |chapter=Part I: Language and Discourse |isbn=978-1-4020-7911-5 |quote=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.}}BOOK, Elana, Shohamy, Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches, {{Google books, 5mG09P64jzYC, PA72, yes, |year=2006 |publisher=Routledge |isbn=978-0-415-32864-7 |pages=72–73 |quote=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.}} as may be seen in road signs and official documents. Many Israelis communicate reasonably well in English, as many television programs are broadcast in English with subtitles and the language is taught from the early grades in elementary school. In addition, Israeli universities offer courses in the English language on various subjects.WEB, English programs at Israeli universities and colleges,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs,


{{Religion in Israel chart}}Israel comprises a major part of the Holy Land, a region of significant importance to all Abrahamic religions â€“ Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Druze and Bahá'í Faith.The religious affiliation of Israeli Jews varies widely: a social survey from 2016 made by Pew Research indicates that 49% self-identify as Hiloni (secular), 29% as Masorti (traditional), 13% as Dati (religious) and 9% as Haredi (ultra-Orthodox).WEB,weblink In Israel, Jews are united by homeland but divided into very different groups, Starr, Kelsey Jo, Masci, David, 8 March 2016, Pew Research Center, 14 January 2017, Haredi Jews are expected to represent more than 20% of Israel's Jewish population by 2028.NEWS,weblink At the edge of the abyss, Haaretz, 24 November 2009, Making up 17.6% of the population, Muslims constitute Israel's largest religious minority. About 2% of the population is Christian and 1.6% is Druze. The Christian population primarily comprises Arab Christians, but also includes post-Soviet immigrants, the foreign laborers of multinational origins, and followers of Messianic Judaism, considered by most Christians and Jews to be a form of Christianity.NEWS, Israel's Christian population numbers 148,000 as of Christmas Eve, Moti, Bassok,weblink Haaretz, 25 December 2006, 26 April 2012, Members of many other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus, maintain a presence in Israel, albeit in small numbers.JOURNAL,weblink National Population Estimates, 6 August 2007, 27, Central Bureau of Statistics,weblink" title="">weblink 7 August 2011, dead, Out of more than one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, about 300,000 are considered not Jewish by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.NEWS,weblink Israel's disputatious Avigdor Lieberman: Can the coalition hold together?, 11 March 2010, The Economist, 12 August 2012, File:Westernwall2.jpg|thumb|The Dome of the Rock and the alt=A large open area with people bounded by old stone walls. To the left is a mosque with large golden dome.The city of Jerusalem is of special importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians as it is the home of sites that are pivotal to their religious beliefs, such as the Old City that incorporates the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.BOOK, Jerusalem: its sanctity and centrality to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Levine, Lee I., 1999, Continuum International Publishing Group, 978-0-8264-1024-5, 516, harv, Other locations of religious importance in Israel are Nazareth (holy in Christianity as the site of the Annunciation of Mary), Tiberias and Safed (two of the Four Holy Cities in Judaism), the White Mosque in Ramla (holy in Islam as the shrine of the prophet Saleh), and the Church of Saint George in Lod (holy in Christianity and Islam as the tomb of Saint George or Al Khidr). A number of other religious landmarks are located in the West Bank, among them Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the birthplace of Jesus and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The administrative center of the Bahá'í Faith and the Shrine of the Báb are located at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa; the leader of the faith is buried in Acre.BOOK, Hebrew Phrasebook, Lonely Planet Publications, 1999, 156, 978-0-86442-528-7, JOURNAL,weblink The Bahá'í World Centre: Focal Point for a Global Community, The Bahá'í International Community, 2 July 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2007, JOURNAL, Bahá'í Library Online, Teaching the Faith in Israel, 23 June 1995,weblink 6 August 2007, A few miles south of the Bahá'í World Centre is Mahmood Mosque affiliated with the reformist Ahmadiyya movement. Kababir, Haifa's mixed neighbourhood of Jews and Ahmadi Arabs is the only one of its kind in the country.WEB,weblink Kababir and Central Carmel – Multiculturalism on the Carmel, 8 January 2015, WEB,weblink Visit Haifa, 8 January 2015,


File:Brain research labs-Bar Ilan university.jpg|thumb|Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan UniversityBar-Ilan UniversityEducation is highly valued in the Israeli culture and was viewed as a fundamental block of ancient Israelites.WEB,weblink Education in Ancient Israel, American Bible Society, 3 July 2015, Jewish communities in the Levant were the first to introduce compulsory education for which the organized community, not less than the parents was responsible.JOURNAL, Religious Education in Israel, Moaz, Asher, Tel Aviv University Law Faculty Papers, July 2007, 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.WEB,weblink Bill Gates – Israel is a high tech superpower, Israel21, 30 October 2005, 3 July 2015, Karin Kloosterman, MAGAZINE,weblink What Are The Secrets Behind Israel's Growing Innovative Edge?, Forbes, 11 July 2013, 3 July 2015, Gary Shapiro, 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%. In 2012, the country ranked third in the world in the number of academic degrees per capita (20 percent of the population).WEB,weblink Top Ten Reasons to Invest in Israel, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2012, JOURNAL,weblink Israel: IT Workforce, 14 August 2007, Information Technology Landscape in Nations Around the World, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 September 2006, Israel has a school life expectancy of 16 years and a literacy rate of 97.8%. The State Education Law, passed in 1953, established five types of schools: state secular, state religious, ultra orthodox, communal settlement schools, and Arab schools. The public secular is the largest school group, and is attended by the majority of Jewish and non-Arab pupils in Israel. Most Arabs send their children to schools where Arabic is the language of instruction.BOOK,weblink Israeli Schools: Religious and Secular Problems, Education Resources Information Center, 10 October 1984, 20 March 2012, Education is compulsory in Israel for children between the ages of three and eighteen.NEWS,weblink Haaretz, 20 March 2012, 18 July 2007, Knesset raises school dropout age to 18, Or, Kashti, Shahar, Ilan, JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Summary of the Principal Laws Related to Education, 26 January 2003, 4 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 February 2006, Schooling is divided into three tiers â€“ primary school (grades 1–6), middle school (grades 7–9), and high school (grades 10–12) â€“ culminating with 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.WEB,weblink Education, Shetreet, Ida Ben, Woolf, Laura L., 2010, Publications Department, Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, 30 August 2012, 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.WEB,weblink Religion and Education Around the World, 13 December 2016, WEB,weblink 6. Jewish educational attainment, 13 December 2016, Israeli Jews (among those ages 25 and older) have average of 11.6 years of schooling making them one of the most highly educated of all major religious groups in the world.WEB,weblink How Religious Groups Differ in Educational Attainment, 13 December 2016, WEB,weblink Jews at top of class in first-ever global study of religion and education, 13 December 2016, In Arab, Christian and Druze schools, the exam on Biblical studies is replaced by an exam on Muslim, Christian or Druze heritage.JOURNAL,weblink United States-Israel Educational Foundation via the University of Szeged University Library, The Israeli Matriculation Certificate, 5 August 2007, January 1996, Maariv described the Christian Arabs sectors as "the most successful in education system",WEB,weblink המגזר הערבי נוצרי ×”×›×™ מצליח במערכת החינוך), 30 October 2014, since Christians fared the best in terms of education in comparison to any other religion in Israel.WEB,weblink Christians in Israel: Strong in education, ynet, 30 October 2014, 23 December 2012, Israeli children from Russian-speaking families have a higher bagrut pass rate at high-school level.WEB,weblink Patterns of Integration into Israeli Society among Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union over the Past Two Decades, Konstantinov, Viacheslav, 2015, Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, 9 March 2017, Amongst immigrant children born in the 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.WEB,weblink עולים מחבר העמים מצליחים יותר בבגרויות, וואלה! חדשות, 10 February 2008, In 2014, 61.5% of all Israeli twelfth graders earned a matriculation certificate.WEB,weblink Students in Grade 12 – Matriculation Examinees and Those Entitled to a Certificate, 2016, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 5 March 2017, File:Hebrew University Jerusalem IL WV.JPG|thumb|Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University of JerusalemHebrew University of JerusalemIsrael has a tradition of higher education where its quality university education has been largely responsible in spurring the nations modern economic development.WEB,weblink Israel's educational tradition drives economic growth, Silver, Stefan, 11 May 2017, Kehlia News Israel, Israel has nine public universities that are subsidized by the state and 49 private colleges.WEB,weblink Higher Education in Israel, 19 March 2012, Embassy of Israel In India, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2012, NEWS, Paraszczuk, Joanna, Ariel gets university status, despite opposition,weblink 21 December 2013, The Jerusalem Post, 17 July 2012, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel's second-oldest university after the Technion,WEB, About Technion,weblink Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Technion, 21 December 2013, WEB, Israel,weblink Monash University, 21 December 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 December 2013, houses the National Library of Israel, the world's largest repository of Judaica and Hebraica.JOURNAL,weblink National Library of Israel, History of the Library, 22 August 2014, The Technion and the Hebrew University consistently ranked among world's 100 top universities by the prestigious ARWU academic ranking.WEB,weblink Israel, 2016, Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6 January 2017, 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

{{See also|Criticism of the Israeli government}}{{multiple image |total_width=260 |caption_align=center
| image1 = Reuven Rivlin as the president of Israel.jpg
| width1 = 2829
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| caption1 = PresidentReuven Rivlin

| image2 = Benjamin Netanyahu 2018.jpg
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| caption2 = Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu
}}File:PikiWiki Israel 7260 Knesset-Room.jpg|thumb|The KnessetKnessetIsrael is a parliamentary democracy with 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.In 1996, direct elections for the prime minister were inaugurated, but the system was declared unsatisfactory and the old one reinstated. See NEWS,weblink BBC News, Israel's election process explained, 31 March 2010, 23 January 2003, Israel is governed by a 120-member parliament, known as the Knesset. Membership of the Knesset is based on proportional representation of political parties,JOURNAL,weblink The Knesset, 8 August 2007, The Electoral System in Israel, 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 voteJewish settlers can vote in Israeli elections, though West Bank is officially not Israel, Fox News, February 2015: "When Israelis go to the polls next month, tens of thousands of Jewish settlers in the West Bank will also be casting votes, even though they do not live on what is sovereign Israeli territory. This exception in a country that doesn't allow absentee voting for citizens living abroad is a telling reflection of Israel's somewhat ambiguous and highly contentious claim to the territory, which has been under military occupation for almost a half century." and after the 2015 election, 10 of the 120 MKs ({{percent|10|120}}) were settlers.The Social Composition of the 20th Knesset, Israeli Democracy Institute, 30 March 2015 Parliamentary elections are scheduled every four years, but unstable coalitions or a no-confidence vote by the Knesset can dissolve a government earlier.The Basic Laws of Israel function as an uncodified constitution. In 2003, the Knesset began to draft an official constitution based on these laws.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Mazie|2006|p=34}}The president of Israel is head of state, with limited and largely ceremonial duties.JOURNAL,weblink The World Factbook, Field Listing â€” Executive Branch, 20 July 2007, 19 June 2007, Israel has no official religion,BOOK, Secularism on the Edge: Rethinking Church-State Relations in the United States, France, and Israel, Charbit, Denis, Berlinerblau, Jacques, Fainberg, Sarah, Nou, Aurora, Israel's Self-Restrained Secularism from the 1947 Status Quo Letter to the Present, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2014, 978-1-137-38115-6, 167–169, {{Google books, gThvBAAAQBAJ, PA167, yes, |quote=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.}}BOOK, The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Sharot, Stephen, Beckford, James A., Demerath, Jay, Judaism in Israel: Public Religion, Neo-Traditionalism, Messianism, and Ethno-Religious Conflict, Sage Publications, London and Thousand Oaks, CA, 2007, 978-1-4129-1195-5, 671–672, {{Google books, vA8edg7bv0kC, PA671, yes, |quote=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.}}BOOK, Women in Zones of Conflict: Power and Resistance in Israel, Jacoby, Tami Amanda, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, Quebec and Kingston, Ontario, 2005, 978-0-7735-2993-9, 53–54, {{Google books, pr1LJNrlmuIC, PA53, yes, |quote=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.}} 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.JOURNAL, Englard, Izhak, Winter 1987, Law and Religion in Israel, The American Journal of Comparative Law, 35, 1, 185–208, 10.2307/840166, 840166, 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, On 19 July 2018, the Israeli Parliament 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."NEWS, Jewish nation state: Israel approves controversial bill, BBC, 19 July 2018,weblink 20 July 2018,

Legal system

File:Israel Supreme Court.jpg|thumb|Supreme Court of IsraelSupreme Court of IsraelIsrael has a three-tier court system. At the lowest level are magistrate courts, situated in most cities across the country. Above them are district courts, serving as both appellate courts and courts of first instance; they are situated in five of Israel's six districts. The third and highest tier is the Supreme Court, located in Jerusalem; it serves a dual role as the highest court of appeals and the 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.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5 August 2007, 1 August 2005, The Judiciary: The Court System, NEWS, Israel's high court unique in region,weblink Boston Herald, 9 September 2007, 27 March 2013, Although Israel supports the goals of the International Criminal Court, it has not ratified the Rome Statute, citing concerns about the ability of the court to remain free from political impartiality.JOURNAL,weblink Israel and the International Criminal Court, Office of the Legal Adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 June 2002, 20 July 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 May 2007, Israel's legal system combines three legal traditions: English common law, civil law, and Jewish law. It is based on the principle of stare decisis (precedent) and is an adversarial system, where the parties in the suit bring evidence before the court. Court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries. Marriage and divorce are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian. The election of judges is carried out by a committee of two Knesset members, three Supreme Court justices, two Israeli Bar members and two ministers (one of which, Israel's justice minister, is the committee's chairman). The committee's members of the Knesset are secretly elected by the Knesset, and one of them is traditionally a member of the opposition, the committee's Supreme Court justices are chosen by tradition from all Supreme Court justices by seniority, the Israeli Bar members are elected by the bar, and the second minister is appointed by the Israeli cabinet. The current justice minister and committee's chairwoman is Ayelet Shaked.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 August 2007, 1 October 2006, The State â€” Judiciary â€” The Court System, WEB,weblink Israel Democracy Institute, הליך מינוי השופטים בישראל: עובד - אל תיגעו!, 21 July 2015, BOOK, Constitutional Law of Israel, Suzi Navot, Kluwer Law International, 146, {{Google books, YUNNHYUBA5oC, PA146, yes, |isbn=978-90-411-2651-1|year=2007}} Administration of Israel's courts (both the "General" courts and the Labor Courts) is carried by the Administration of Courts, situated in Jerusalem. Both General and Labor courts are paperless courts: the storage of court files, as well as court decisions, are conducted electronically. Israel's (Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty) seeks to defend human rights and liberties in Israel. As a result of "Enclave law", large portions of Israeli civil law are applied to Israeli settlements and Israeli residents in the occupied territories.BOOK, Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard, Hedi Viterbo, The ABC of the OPT: A Legal Lexicon of the Israeli Control over the Occupied Palestinian Territory, {{Google books, Is5TDwAAQBAJ, PA52, yes, |date=2018|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-1-107-15652-4|pages=52–}}

Administrative divisions

{{Israel Labelled Map}}The State of Israel is divided into six main administrative districts, known as mehozot (; singular: mahoz) â€“ 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 (; singular: nafa), which are themselves partitioned into fifty natural regions.JOURNAL, Central Bureau of Statistics, Introduction to the Tables: Geophysical Characteristics,weblink doc, 4 September 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 21 February 2011, dead, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center"! rowspan="2"| District! rowspan="2"| Capital! rowspan="2"| Largest city! colspan="4"| PopulationWEB,weblink Localities and Population, by Population Group, District, Sub-District and Natural Region, 6 September 2017, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 19 September 2017, ! Jews! Arabs! Total! class="unsortable"| note! Jerusalem Jerusalem {{percentage1083300}} {{percentage1083300}} jerusalemdistrict|a}}! North| Nof HaGalil| Nazareth {{percentage1401300}} {{percentage1401300}} |! Haifa Haifa {{percentage996300}} {{percentage996300}} |! Center| Ramla| Rishon LeZion {{percentage2115800}} {{percentage2115800}} |! Tel Aviv Tel Aviv {{percentage1388400}} {{percentage1388400}} |! South| Beersheba| Ashdod {{percentage1244200}} {{percentage1244200}} |! Judea and Samaria AreaAriel (city)>Ariel| Modi'in Illit {{percentage399300}} {{percentage399300}} judeaandsamaria|b}}
{{note|jerusalemdistrict|a}} Including over 200,000 Jews and 300,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem.WEB,weblink Population of Jerusalem, by Age, Religion and Geographical Spreading, 2015, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 19 September 2017, {{note|judeaandsamaria|b}} Israeli citizens only.

Specific types of settlements

Israeli-occupied territories

(File:Map of Israel, neighbours and occupied territories.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|Map of Israel showing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights){{Israeli occupations navbox}}In 1967, as a result of the Six-Day War, Israel captured and occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Israel also captured the Sinai Peninsula, but returned it to Egypt as part of the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.WEB,weblink Israel Makes Peace With Egypt, Bard, Mitchell, Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 31 May 2013, Between 1982 and 2000, Israel occupied part of southern Lebanon, in what was known as 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 Golan Heights and East Jerusalem have been fully incorporated into Israel under Israeli law, but not under international law. Israel has applied civilian law to both areas and granted their inhabitants permanent residency status and the ability to apply for citizenship. The UN Security Council has declared the annexation of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem to be "null and void" and continues to view the territories as occupied.WEB,weblink Resolution 497 (1981), 1981, United Nations, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2012, JOURNAL,weblink East Jerusalem: UNSC Res. 478, 1980, UN, 10 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 December 2010, 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.File:West_Bank_Fence_South_Hebron.JPG|thumb|Israeli West Bank barrierIsraeli West Bank barrierThe West Bank excluding East Jerusalem is known in Israeli law as the Judea and Samaria Area; the almost 400,000 Israeli settlers residing in the area are considered part of Israel's population, have Knesset representation, a large part of Israel's civil and criminal laws applied to them, and their output is considered part of Israel's economy.Gilead Sher, The Application of Israeli Law to the West Bank: De Facto Annexation?, INSS Insight No. 638, 4 December 2014 The land itself is not considered part of Israel under Israeli law, as Israel has consciously refrained from annexing the territory, without ever relinquishing its legal claim to the land or defining a border with the area. There is no border between Israel-proper and the West Bank for Israeli vehicles. Israeli political opposition to annexation is primarily due to the perceived "demographic threat" of incorporating the West Bank's Palestinian population into Israel. Outside of the Israeli settlements, the West Bank remains under direct Israeli military rule, and Palestinians in the area cannot become Israeli citizens. The international community maintains that Israel does not have sovereignty in the West Bank, and considers Israel's control of the area to be the longest military occupation is modern history. The West Bank was occupied and annexed by Jordan in 1950, following the Arab rejection of the UN decision to create two states in Palestine. Only Britain recognized this annexation and Jordan has since ceded its claim to the territory to the PLO. The population are mainly Palestinians, including refugees of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.JOURNAL, UNRWA in Figures: Figures as of 30 June 2009, United Nations, June 2009,weblink 27 September 2007, From their occupation in 1967 until 1993, the Palestinians living in these territories were under Israeli military administration. Since the Israel–PLO letters of recognition, most of the Palestinian population and 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.JOURNAL,weblink Questions and Answers, 17 April 2007, 22 February 2004, Israel's Security Fence, harv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 October 2013, When completed, approximately 13% of the barrier will be constructed on the Green Line or in Israel with 87% inside the West Bank.WEB, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,weblink Refworld | West Bank Barrier Route Projections, July 2008,, 11 April 2014, WEB,weblink Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable Israeli Settlement Expansion in the West Bank, 20 March 2012, December 2005, Publications, B'Tselem, File:Restricted space in the West Bank, Area C.png|thumb|180px|left|Area C of the West Bank, controlled by Israel under Oslo Accords, in blue and red, in December 2011]]The Gaza Strip is considered to be a "foreign territory" under Israeli law; however, since Israel operates a land, air, and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, together with Egypt, the international community considers Israel to be the occupying power. The Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt from 1948 to 1967 and then by Israel after 1967. In 2005, as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, Israel removed all of its settlers and forces from the territory, however, it continues to maintain control of its airspace and waters. The international community, including numerous international humanitarian organizations and various bodies of the UN, consider Gaza to remain occupied.WEB,weblink Situation Report on the Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 23 January 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2012, WEB,weblink The occupied Palestinian territories: Dignity Denied, International Committee of the Red Cross, 13 December 2007, WEB,weblink Israel/Palestine, 2013, Human Rights Watch, 13 June 2013, WEB,weblink Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, United Nations Human Rights Council, 15 September 2009, 85, WEB,weblink Israel/Occupied Territories: Road to nowhere, Amnesty International, 1 December 2006, Following the 2007 Battle of Gaza, when Hamas assumed power in the Gaza Strip, Israel tightened its control of the Gaza crossings along its border, as well as by sea and air, and prevented persons from entering and exiting the area except for isolated cases it deemed humanitarian.WEB,weblink The scope of Israeli control in the Gaza Strip, B'Tselem, 20 March 2012, Gaza has a 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).WEB,weblink Agreed documents on movement and access from and to Gaza, 15 November 2005, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2013, The International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the UN, asserted, in its 2004 advisory opinion on the legality of the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier, that the lands captured by Israel in the Six-Day War, including East Jerusalem, are occupied territory.NEWS, Arabs will ask U.N. to seek razing of Israeli wall,weblink, 9 July 2004, 9 February 2013, Most negotiations relating to the territories have been on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which emphasises "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war", and calls on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories in return for normalization of relations with Arab states, a principle known as "Land for peace".JOURNAL, Olmert: Willing to trade land for peace, Ynetnews, 16 December 2006,weblink 26 September 2007, NEWS, Syria ready to discuss land for peace, The Jerusalem Post, 12 June 2007,weblink 20 March 2012, NEWS, Egypt: Israel must accept the land-for-peace formula, The Jerusalem Post, 15 March 2007,weblink 20 March 2012, According to some observers,{{Weasel inline|date=April 2017}} Israel has engaged in systematic and widespread violations of human rights in the occupied territories, including the occupation itselfWEB, A/RES/36/147. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories,weblink 12 February 2017, and war crimes against civilians.WEB, The Avalon Project : United Nations Security Council Resolution 605,weblink, 12 February 2017, NEWS, UN condemns Israel's West Bank settlement plans,weblink BBC News, 12 February 2017, 25 January 2017, NEWS, Rudoren, Jodi, Sengupta, Somini, U.N. Report on Gaza Finds Evidence of War Crimes by Israel and by Palestinian Militants,weblink The New York Times, 12 February 2017, 22 June 2015, WEB, Human Rights Council establishes Independent, International Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory,weblink, 12 February 2017, The allegations include violations of international humanitarian lawWEB, Faced with Israeli denial of access to Occupied Palestinian Territory, UN expert resigns,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 5 December 2016, 4 January 2016, by the UN Human Rights Council,WEB, Human Rights Council adopts six resolutions and closes its thirty-first regular session,weblink 12 February 2017, with local residents having "limited ability to hold governing authorities accountable for such abuses" by the U.S. State Department,WEB, Israel and The Occupied Territories – The Occupied Territories,weblink U.S. Department of State, 1 February 2017, mass arbitrary arrests, torture, unlawful killings, systemic abuses and impunity by Amnesty International and othersNEWS, Heyer, Julia Amalia, Kids Behind Bars: Israel's Arbitrary Arrests of Palestinian Minors,weblink SPIEGEL ONLINE, 23 April 2017, 7 October 2014, WEB, Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories 2016/2017,weblink Amnesty International, 23 April 2017, en, NEWS, Eight hundred dead Palestinians. But Israel has impunity,weblink The Independent, 23 April 2017, 26 July 2014, WEB, Isfahan, About the Author Ali OmidiDr Ali Omidi is Assistant Professor of International Relations in the University of, Why Israel's Impunity Goes Unpunished by International Authorities,weblink Foreign Policy Journal, 23 April 2017, 11 August 2014, WEB, How impunity defines Israel and victimises Palestinians,weblink Al Jazeera, 23 April 2017, NEWS, Barghouti, Marwan, Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel's Prisons,weblink The New York Times, 23 April 2017, 16 April 2017, and a denial of the right to Palestinian self-determination.NEWS, Dorfman, Zach, George Mitchell wrote 'A Path to Peace' about Israel and Palestine. Is there one?,weblink Los Angeles Times, 1 February 2017, WEB, Outrage over Maimane's visit to Israel,weblink 1 February 2017, WEB, The subordination of Palestinian rights must stop,weblink 1 February 2017, The National, WEB, Palestine-Israel Journal: Settlements and the Palestinian Right to Self-Determination,weblink, 1 February 2017, WEB, Hammond, Jeremy R., The Rejection of Palestinian Self Determination,weblink 1 February 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 February 2017, In response to such allegations, Prime Minister Netanyahu has defended the country's security forces for protecting the innocent from terroristsWEB, Top US senator clashes with Netanyahu over Israeli rights record,weblink POLITICO, 12 February 2017, 31 March 2016, and expressed contempt for what he describes as a lack of concern about the human rights violations committed by "criminal killers".NEWS, Allegations of Israeli Human Rights Violations Closely Scrutinized, Says U.S. State Department,weblink Haaretz, 12 February 2017, en, 6 May 2017, Some observers, such as Israeli officials, scholars,JOURNAL, Gilboa, Eytan, 1 October 2006, Public Diplomacy: The Missing Component in Israel's Foreign Policy, Israel Affairs, 12, 4, 715–747, 10.1080/13533310600890067, 1353-7121, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki HaleyNikki Haley urges UN to shift its criticism from Israel to Iran, 20 April 2017, Times of IsraelU.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley: ‘The Days of Israel-Bashing Are Over’, 28 March 2017, National Review and UN secretary-generals Ban Ki-moonNEWS, Ban Ki-moon recognizes bias against Israel in last Security Council speech,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 23 April 2017, and Kofi Annan,NEWS,weblink Annan: Solution for refugees in Palestinian state, Ynetnews, 27 April 2017, also assert that the UN is disproportionately concerned with Israeli misconduct.{{overly detailed inline|date=April 2017}}

Foreign relations

(File:Foreign relations of Israel Map July 2011.PNG|thumb|upright=1.35|{{legend|#0000ff|Diplomatic relations}} {{legend|#80ffff|Diplomatic relations suspended}} {{legend|#00ff00|Former diplomatic relations}} {{legend|#ff00ff|No diplomatic relations, but former trade relations}} {{legend|#ff8040|No diplomatic relations}})Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 158 countries and has 107 diplomatic missions around the world;WEB,weblink Israel's Diplomatic Missions Abroad: Status of relations, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25 April 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 April 2016, countries with whom they have no diplomatic relations include most Muslim countries.NEWS,weblink Why Doesn't the Muslim World Recognize Israel?, Mohammed Mostafa Kamal, The Jerusalem Post, 21 July 2012, 30 November 2015, Only three members of the Arab League have normalized relations with Israel: Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994, respectively, and Mauritania opted for full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1999. Despite the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, Israel is still widely considered an enemy country among Egyptians."Massive Israel protests hit universities" (Egyptian Mail, 16 March 2010) "According to most Egyptians, almost 31 years after a peace treaty was signed between Egypt and Israel, having normal ties between the two countries is still a potent accusation and Israel is largely considered to be an enemy country" Under Israeli law, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen are enemy countries,JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Justice, Initial Periodic Report of the State of Israel Concerning the Implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), 9 August 2007, February 2001, 147 (173 using pdf numbering), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 September 2007, and Israeli citizens may not visit them without permission from the Ministry of the Interior.JOURNAL,weblink Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he:הוראות הדין הישראלי, 2004, Hebrew, 9 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 July 2007, Iran had diplomatic relations with Israel under the Pahlavi dynasty{{Harvard citation no brackets|Abadi|2004|pp=37–39, 47}} but withdrew its recognition of Israel during the Islamic Revolution.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Abadi|2004|pp=47–49}} As a result of the 2008–09 Gaza War, Mauritania, Qatar, Bolivia, and Venezuela suspended political and economic ties with Israel.NEWS,weblink Al Jazeera English, Qatar, Mauritania cut Israel ties, 20 March 2012, 17 January 2009, JOURNAL,weblink YVKE Mundial Radio, Bolivia rompe relaciones diplomáticas con Israel y anuncia demanda por genocidio en Gaza, 14 April 2010, 14 January 2009, Abi, Abn, Spanish, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 January 2011, China maintains good ties with both Israel and the Arab world.WEB,weblink Israel-China Relations: Innovation, Infrastructure, Investment, Kuo, Mercy A., 17 July 2018, The Diplomat, The United States and the Soviet Union were the first two countries to recognize the State of Israel, having declared recognition roughly simultaneously.JOURNAL, 2193961, The Recognition of Israel, The American Journal of International Law, 42, 3, 620–627, Brown, Philip Marshall, 10.2307/2193961, 1948, Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union were broken in 1967, following the Six-Day War, and renewed in October 1991.NEWS, Yaakov, Saar, There Were Times (Hayu Zemanim), 30, Hebrew, Israel Hayom, 18 October 2017, The United States regards Israel as its "most reliable partner in the Middle East,"WEB,weblink U.S. Relations With Israel Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Fact Sheet March 10, 2014, U.S. Department of State, 30 October 2014, based on "common democratic values, religious affinities, and security interests".JOURNAL,weblink Israel: Background and Relations with the United States Updated, Defense Technical Information Center, 19 October 2009, The United States has provided $68 billion in military assistance and $32 billion in grants to Israel since 1967, under the Foreign Assistance Act (period beginning 1962),WEB,weblink U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, more than any other country for that period until 2003.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 20 October 2011, U.S. Government Foreign Grants and Credits by Type and Country: 2000 to 2010, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 25 December 2007, Foreign Aid, The United Kingdom is seen as having a "natural" relationship with Israel on account of the Mandate for Palestine.WEB,weblink Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The bilateral relationship, UK in Israel, 20 March 2012, Relations between the two countries were also made stronger by former prime minister Tony Blair's efforts for a two state resolution. {{As of|2007|alt=By 2007}}, Germany had paid 25 billion euros in reparations to the Israeli state and individual Israeli Holocaust survivors.WEB,weblink Congressional Research Service: Germany's Relations with Israel: Background and Implications for German Middle East Policy, Jan 19, 2007. (p. CRS-2), 29 September 2010, Israel is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.NEWS,weblink EU to Revise Relations with Turbulent Neighbourhood, Eric Maurice, EUobserver, 5 March 2015, 1 December 2015, File:President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Joint Press Conference, February 15, 2017 (01).jpg|thumb|left|U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin NetanyahuAlthough Turkey and Israel did not establish full diplomatic relations until 1991,{{Harvard citation no brackets|Abadi|2004|p=3}}. "However, it was not until 1991 that the two countries established full diplomatic relations." Turkey has cooperated with the Jewish state since its recognition of Israel in 1949. Turkey's ties to the other Muslim-majority nations in the region have at times resulted in pressure from Arab and Muslim states to temper its relationship with Israel.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Abadi|2004|pp=4–6}} Relations between Turkey and Israel took a downturn after the 2008–09 Gaza War and Israel's raid of the Gaza flotilla.JOURNAL, Uzer, Umut, 26 March 2013, Turkish-Israeli Relations: Their Rise and Fall,weblink Middle East Policy, XX, 1, 97–110, 10.1111/mepo.12007, 7 January 2017, Relations between Greece and Israel have improved since 1995 due to the decline of Israeli–Turkish relations.NEWS,weblink Israel woos Greece after rift with Turkey, BBC News, 16 October 2010, 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.NEWS, Turkey, Greece discuss exploration off Cyprus, Associated Press,weblink Haaretz, 26 September 2011, 1 January 2012, Cooperation in the world's longest subsea electric power cable, the EuroAsia Interconnector, has strengthened relations between Cyprus and Israel.NEWS, Benari, Elad, 5 March 2012, Israel, Cyprus Sign Deal for Underwater Electricity Cable,weblink Arutz Sheva, 7 January 2017, Azerbaijan is one of the few majority Muslim countries to develop bilateral strategic and economic relations with Israel. Azerbaijan supplies Israel with a substantial amount of its oil needs, and Israel has helped modernize the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 and has fostered a strong military, technological and cultural partnership with the country since then.WEB,weblink Jerusalem Institute for Western Defense, Kumar, Dinesh, India and Israel: Dawn of a New Era, 19 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 May 2012, According to an international opinion survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.NEWS,weblink From India with love, Ynetnews, Eichner, Itamar, 4 March 2009, 20 March 2012, NEWS, Nitin Gadkari to visit Israel tomorrow,weblink World Snap, 13 December 2010, 1 October 2012, India is the largest customer of the Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 July 2012, India to hold wide-ranging strategic talks with US, Israel, The Times of India, 19 January 2010, 20 March 2012, Ethiopia is Israel's main ally in Africa due to common political, religious and security interests.NEWS,weblink Iran and Israel in Africa: A search for allies in a hostile world, The Economist, 4 February 2010, 20 March 2012, Israel provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects and thousands of Ethiopian Jews live in Israel.Israel has a history of providing emergency aid and humanitarian response teams to disasters across the world.NEWS,weblink Pfeffer, Anshel, Haaretz, The Downsides of Israel's Missions of Mercy Abroad, 28 April 2015, 22 November 2015, And even when no Israelis are involved, few countries are as fast as Israel in mobilizing entire delegations to rush to the other side of the world. It has been proved time and again in recent years, after the earthquake in Haiti, the typhoon in the Philippines and the quake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan. For a country of Israel's size and resources, without conveniently located aircraft carriers and overseas bases, it is quite an impressive achievement., In 1955 Israel began its foreign aid program in Burma. The program's focus subsequently shifted to Africa.BOOK,weblink Isolated States: A Comparative Analysis, Deon Geldenhuys, Cambridge University Press, 1990, 428, 9780521402682, Israel's humanitarian efforts officially began in 1957, with the establishment of Mashav, the Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.WEB,weblink About MASHAV, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 January 2017, In this early period, whilst Israel's aid represented only a small percentage of total aid to Africa, its program was effective in creating goodwill throughout the continent; however, following the 1967 war relations soured.BOOK,weblink International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East: A Study in World Politics, Tareq Y. Ismael, Syracuse University Press, 1986, 249, 9780815623823, Israel's foreign aid program subsequently shifted its focus to Latin America. Since the late 1970s Israel's foreign aid has gradually decreased. In recent years Israel has tried to reestablish its aid to Africa.BOOK, Israel and Africa: A Genealogy of Moral Geography, Haim Yacobi, Routledge, 2016, 111–112, There are additional Israeli humanitarian and emergency response groups that work with the Israel government, including IsraAid, a joint programme run by 14 Israeli organizations and North American Jewish groups,Haim Yacobi, Israel and Africa: A Genealogy of Moral Geography, Routledge, 2015 p. 113. ZAKA,WEB,weblink Secretary-General's remarks at reception in honour of ZAKA International Rescue Unit [as prepared for delivery], Ki-moon, Ban, 1 December 2016, United Nations, 20 January 2017, The Fast Israeli Rescue and Search Team (FIRST),Ueriel Hellman,"Israeli aid effort helps Haitians – and Israel's image", Jewish Telegraphic Agency 19 January 2010 Israeli Flying Aid (IFA),WEB,weblink Israel's 'superwoman' takes flight to help others – ISRAEL21c, Israel21c, Save a Child's Heart (SACH)WEB,weblink Wolfson cardiac surgeons save lives of more Gazan children, The Jerusalem Post, and Latet.WEB,weblink Earthquake in Haiti – Latet Organization deploys for immediate relief to victims, ReliefWeb, Between 1985 and 2015, Israel sent 24 delegations of IDF search and rescue unit, the Home Front Command, to 22 countries.NEWS,weblink 20 May 2015, 24 November 2015, Israel Today, When catastrophe strikes the IDF is there to help, Currently Israeli foreign aid ranks low among OECD nations, spending less than 0.1% of its GNI on development assistance.{{citation needed|date=January 2019}} The UN has set a target of 0.7%. In 2015 six nations reached the UN target.NEW,weblink UK among six countries to hit 0.7% UN aid spending target, Ben Quinn, theguardian, 2017, The country ranked 43rd in the 2016 World Giving Index.REPORT, October 2016, World Giving Index,weblink Charities Aid Foundation, 20 January 2017,


{{Further|List of wars involving Israel|List of the Israel Defense Forces operations|Israel and weapons of mass destruction}}The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Cabinet. The IDF consist 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.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Defense Forces, 31 July 2007, History: 1948, 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2008, The IDF also draws upon the resources of the Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman), which works with Mossad and Shabak.{{Harvard citation no brackets |Henderson |2003 |p=97}} 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.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The State: Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 9 August 2007, 13 March 2009, WEB,weblink, Israel Defense Forces, 16 September 2007, File:Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Class Commanders Exercise at Elyakim (1).jpg|thumb|Squad commanders exercise at EliakimEliakimMost Israelis are drafted into the military at the age of 18. Men serve two years and eight months and women two years.JOURNAL,weblink The Israel Defense Forces, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 October 2006, Following mandatory service, Israeli men join the reserve forces and usually do up to several weeks of reserve duty every year until their forties. Most women are exempt from reserve duty. Arab citizens of Israel (except the Druze) and those engaged in full-time religious studies are exempt from military service, although the exemption of yeshiva students has been a source of contention in Israeli society for many years.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Stendel|1997|pp=191–192}}NEWS,weblink 16 May 2007, 19 March 2012, Cool law, for wrong population, Shtrasler, Nehemia, Haaretz, An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is Sherut Leumi, or national service, which involves a program of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks.WEB,weblink Nefesh B'Nefesh, 20 March 2012, Sherut Leumi (National Service), As a result of its conscription program, 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.File:Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Iron Dome Intercepts Rockets from the Gaza Strip.jpg|thumb|Iron Dome is the world's first operational anti-artillery rocket defense system.]]The nation's military relies heavily on high-tech weapons systems designed and manufactured in Israel as well as some foreign imports. The Arrow missile is one of the world's few operational anti-ballistic missile systems.NEWS,weblink The Jerusalem Post, Arrow can fully protect against Iran, Katz, Yaakov, 30 March 2007, 20 March 2012, The Python air-to-air missile series is often considered one of the most crucial weapons in its military history.Israeli Mirage III and Nesher Aces, By Shlomo Aloni, (Osprey 2004), p. 60 Israel's Spike missile is one of the most widely exported anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) in the world.Spike Anti-Tank Missile, Israel Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile air defense system gained worldwide acclaim after intercepting hundreds of Qassam, 122 mm Grad and Fajr-5 artillery rockets fire by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.NEWS, How Israel Developed Such A Shockingly Effective Rocket Defense System, Robert Johnson,weblink Business Insider, 19 November 2012, 20 November 2012, NEWS, A Missile-Defense System That Actually Works?, Sarah Tory,weblink Slate, 19 November 2012, 20 November 2012, Since the Yom Kippur War, Israel has developed a network of reconnaissance satellites.WEB,weblink Central Intelligence Agency, Israel's Quest for Satellite Intelligence, Zorn, E.L., 8 May 2007, 19 March 2012, The success of the Ofeq program has made Israel one of seven countries capable of launching such satellites.NEWS,weblink The Jerusalem Post, Analysis: Eyes in the sky, Katz, Yaakov, 11 June 2007, 20 March 2012, Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weaponsWEB,weblink Transcript of the Director General's Interview with Al-Ahram News, Mohamed, ElBaradei, Mohamed ElBaradei, International Atomic Energy Agency, 27 July 2004, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 April 2012, as well as chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.WEB,weblink Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing the Risks, Office of Technology Assessment, August 1993, 29 March 2012, 65, 84, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2012, Israel has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear WeaponsWEB,weblink Background Information, 27 May 2005, 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), United Nations, 9 April 2012, and maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity toward its nuclear capabilities.Ziv, Guy, "To Disclose or Not to Disclose: The Impact of Nuclear Ambiguity on Israeli Security," Israel Studies Forum, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter 2007): 76–94 The Israeli Navy's Dolphin submarines are believed to be armed with nuclear Popeye Turbo missiles, offering second-strike capability.WEB,weblink Popeye Turbo, Federation of American Scientists, 19 February 2011, Since the Gulf War in 1991, when Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles, all homes in Israel are required to have a reinforced security room, Merkhav Mugan, impermeable to chemical and biological substances.WEB,weblink Glossary, Israel Homeowner, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 May 2012, Since Israel's establishment, military expenditure constituted a significant portion of the country's gross domestic product, with peak of 30.3% of GDP spent on defense in 1975.REPORT, 29 May 2017, Defence Expenditure in Israel, 1950–2015,weblink Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 22 June 2017, In 2016, Israel ranked 6th in the world by defense spending as a percentage of GDP, with 5.7%,WEB,weblink Military expenditure (% of GDP), World Development Indicators, World Bank, 29 September 2017, and 15th by total military expenditure, with $18 billion.REPORT, 24 April 2017, Trends in world military expenditure, 2016,weblink Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 29 September 2017, Since 1974, the United States has been a particularly notable contributor of military aid to Israel.REPORT, Sharp, Jeremy M., 22 December 2016, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,weblink Congressional Research Service, 36, 22 June 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2015, 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.NEWS, Lake, Eli, 15 September 2016, The U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Misunderstanding,weblink Bloomberg, 17 March 2017, Israel ranked 5th globally for arms exports in 2017.WEB,weblink Top List TIV Tables, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 21 January 2017, The majority of Israel's arms exports are unreported for security reasons.Israel reveals more than $7 billion in arms sales, but few names By Gili Cohen | 9 January 2014, Haaretz Israel is consistently rated low in the Global Peace Index, ranking 144th out of 163 nations for peacefulness in 2017.WEB,weblink Global Peace Index 2017, 2017, Institute for Economics and Peace, 22 June 2017,


File:Bursa07.jpg|thumb|left|The Diamond Exchange DistrictDiamond Exchange DistrictIsrael is considered the most advanced country in Southwest Asia and the Middle East in economic and industrial development.BOOK, World On Fire, Chua, Amy, Knopf Doubleday Publishing, 2003, 978-0-385-72186-8, 219–220,weblink BOOK, {{Google books, Up_7Bh8SbDcC, %22israel+is+the+most+industrialized%22, %22israel+is+the+most+industrialized%22, yes, |title=Northern and Western Asia|isbn=978-0-8225-2915-6|last1=Bramwell|first1=Martyn|year=2000}} Israel's quality 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.WEB,weblink Ambitious Israeli students look to top institutions abroad, ICEF, 10 March 2014, 20 January 2015, David Adler, In 2010, it joined the OECD.WEB,weblink List of OECD Member countries â€” Ratification of the Convention on the OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 12 August 2012, The country is ranked 16th in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness ReportREPORT, Schwab, Klaus, Klaus Schwab, 2017, The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018,weblink World Economic Forum, 17 November 2017, and 54th on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index.WEB,weblink Doing Business in Israel, World Bank Group, 17 November 2017, Israel was also ranked 5th in the world by share of people in high-skilled employment.WEB,weblink Global Human Capital Report 2017, 13 September 2017, World Economic Forum, 23 April 2018, Israeli economic data covers the economic territory of Israel, including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.{{sfn|OECD|2011}}File:BursaTelAviv-1.jpg|thumb|upright|(Tel Aviv Stock Exchange]]. Its building is optimized for computer trading, with systems located in an underground bunker to keep the exchange active during emergencies.Tel Aviv Stock Exchange inaugurates trading in new building, By GLOBES, NIV ELIS, 9 August 2014)Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Imports to Israel, totaling $66.76 billion in 2017, include raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, and consumer goods. Leading exports include machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, and textiles and apparel; in 2017, Israeli exports reached $60.6 billion. The Bank of Israel holds $113 billion of foreign-exchange reserves. 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 {{as of|2015|alt=in 2015}} stood at a surplus of $69 billion.PRESS RELEASE, 20 September 2015, Israel's International Investment Position (IIP), June 2015,weblink Bank of Israel, 29 January 2017, Israel has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world after the United States,BOOK, Intellectual Capital for Communities: Nations, Regions, and Cities, Bounfour, Ahmed, Edvinsson, Leif, 2005, Butterworth-Heinemann, 978-0-7506-7773-8, 47 (368 pages), harv, and the third-largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies after the U.S. and China.MAGAZINE,weblink Inside Israel's Secret Startup Machine, Forbes, 11 May 2016, 30 October 2016, Richard Behar, IntelNEWS,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 27 February 2007, 20 March 2012, Intel to expand Jerusalem R&D, Krawitz, Avi, and MicrosoftWEB,weblink Microsoft, 19 March 2012, Microsoft Israel R&D center: Leadership, Avi returned to Israel in 1991, and established the first Microsoft R&D Center outside the US ..., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 March 2012, built their first overseas research and development facilities in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Facebook and Motorola have opened research and development centres in the country. In 2007, American investor Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway bought an Israeli company, Iscar, its first acquisition outside the United States, for $4 billion.NEWS, Berkshire Announces Acquisition, New York Times, 6 May 2006, 15 May 2010,weblink Days of working time 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.NEWS,weblink The Marker, Instead of 4 work days: 6 optional days to be considered half day-outs, Koren, Orah, 26 June 2012, 26 June 2012, (in Hebrew)

Science and technology

File:Matam hi-tech park (Haifa).jpg|thumb|Matam high-tech park in Haifa]]Israel's development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley.NEWS, Israel keen on IT tie-ups, 10 January 2001, Business Line,weblink 19 March 2012, Chennai, India, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2013, NEWS, Israel's technology industry: Punching above its weight, 10 November 2005, The Economist,weblink 20 March 2012, Israel ranks 5th in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, and is 1st in the world in expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP. Israel boasts 140 scientists, technicians, and engineers per 10,000 employees, the highest number in the world (in comparison, the same is 85 for the U.S.).WEB,weblink R&D and Innovation as a Growth Engine, Shteinbuk, Eduard, 22 July 2011, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, 11 May 2013, WEB,weblink InvestinIsrael, Investing in Israel{{webarchive |url= |date=9 May 2013}} Israel has produced six Nobel Prize-winning scientists since 2004NEWS, Haviv Rettig Gur, 9 October 2013, Tiny Israel a Nobel heavyweight, especially in chemistry,weblink The Times of Israel, 30 January 2017, and has been frequently ranked as one of the countries with the highest ratios of scientific papers per capita in the world.JOURNAL, Heylin, Michael, 27 November 2006, Globalization of Science Rolls On, Chemical & Engineering News, 29–31,weblink 5 February 2013, NEWS,weblink The Jerusalem Post, Gordon, Evelyn, Kicking the global oil habit, 20 March 2012, 24 August 2006, NEWS, Israel's scientific fall from grace: Study shows drastic decline in publications per capita, Yarden Skop, Haaretz,weblink 2 September 2013, Israel has led the world in stem-cell research papers per capita since 2000.NEWS, Stem cell density highest in Israel, Ned, Stafford,weblink The Scientist, 21 March 2006, 18 October 2012, Israeli universities are ranked among the top 50 world universities in computer science (Technion and Tel Aviv University), mathematics (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and chemistry (Weizmann Institute of Science).In 2012, Israel was ranked ninth in the world by the Futron's Space Competitiveness Index.WEB, Futron Releases 2012 Space Competitiveness Index,weblink 21 December 2013, The Israel Space Agency coordinates all Israeli space research programs with scientific and commercial goals, and have indigenously designed and built at least 13 commercial, research and spy satellites.NEWS, Israel's domestic satellite industry saved, Arieh, O'Sullivan,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 9 July 2012, 9 December 2012, The Amos 6 will be IAI's 14th satellite, Some of Israel's satellites are ranked among the world's most advanced space systems.NEWS,weblink Israel launches new satellite to spy on Iran, 20 March 2012, 21 January 2008, The Guardian, London, Mark, Tran, Shavit is a space launch vehicle produced by Israel to launch small satellites into low Earth orbit.WEB, Space launch systems – Shavit,weblink Deagel, 19 November 2013, 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.NEWS,weblink Learning Hebrew Online – Colonel Ilan Ramon, e-Teacher, The Jerusalem Post, 9 February 2010, 1 December 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 December 2015, The ongoing shortage of water in the country has spurred innovation in water conservation techniques, and a substantial agricultural modernization, drip irrigation, was invented in Israel. Israel is also at the technological forefront of desalination and water recycling. The Sorek desalination plant is the largest seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facility in the world.MAGAZINE,weblink Megascale Desalination, Talbot, David, 2015, MIT Technology Review, 13 February 2017, By 2014, Israel's desalination programs provided roughly 35% of Israel's drinking water and it is expected to supply 40% by 2015 and 70% by 2050.NEWS,weblink Israel solves water woes with desalination, Federman, Josef, Associated Press, 30 May 2014, 30 May 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 June 2014, {{as of|2015}}, more than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is artificially produced.NEWS, Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought,weblink The New York Times, 29 May 2015, 31 May 2015, 0362-4331, Isabel, Kershner, The country hosts an annual Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition & Conference (WATEC) that attracts thousands of people from across the world.WEB, What You Israelis Have Done With Water Tech is Simply Amazing,weblink Arutz Sheva, 16 November 2011, WEB, Ashkelon, Israel,weblink, 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.NEWS,weblink Desalination plant could make Israel water exporter, Reuters, Jerusalem, 6 December 2011, Ari, Rabinovitch, File:Solar dish at Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center in Israel.jpg|thumb|alt=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 CenterBen-Gurion National Solar Energy CenterIsrael has embraced solar energy; its engineers are on the cutting edge of solar energy technologyNEWS,weblink Israel Pushes Solar Energy Technology, NPR, Linda, Gradstein, Linda Gradstein, 22 October 2007, and its solar companies work on projects around the world.NEWS,weblink Looking to the sun, Tom, Parry, 15 August 2007, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2008, NEWS, At the Zenith of Solar Energy, Neal, Sandler,weblink Bloomberg Businessweek, 26 March 2008, 12 August 2012, Over 90% of Israeli homes use solar energy for hot water, the highest per capita in the world.WEB,weblink Solar energy for the production of heat Summary and recommendations of the 4th assembly of the energy forum at SNI, Grossman, Gershon, Ayalon, Ofira, Baron, Yifaat, Kauffman, Debby, Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology, 12 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2013, WEB, Del Chiaro, Bernadette, Telleen-Lawton, Timothy, Solar Water Heating: How California Can Reduce Its Dependence on Natural Gas, Environment California,weblink 20 March 2012, PDF, According to government figures, the country saves 8% of its electricity consumption per year because of its solar energy use in heating.WEB,weblink Solar, what else?!, Berner, Joachim, January 2008, Sun & Wind Energy, Israel Special, 88,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2011, 15 May 2010, The high annual incident solar irradiance at its geographic latitude creates ideal conditions for what is an internationally renowned solar research and development industry in the Negev Desert. Israel had a modern 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.NEWS,weblink Will Israel's Electric Cars Change the World?, Time, 11 April 2012, 26 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2012, WEB,weblink Electric cars are all the rage in Israel, FT, 11 April 2012, NEWS,weblink Israel to keep electric car recharging fees low, Haaretz, 11 April 2012, 13 March 2012, The Israeli model was being studied by several countries and being implemented in Denmark and Australia.WEB,weblink Baby you can drive my electric car, Jpost, 11 April 2012, However, Israel's trailblazing electric car company Better Place shut down in 2013.NEWS,weblink Electric Car Company Folds After Taking $850 Million From GE And Others, Business Insider, 26 May 2013,


File:4X-ECC LLBG 09-05-2014b.jpg|thumb|Ben Gurion International AirportBen Gurion International AirportIsrael has {{convert|19224|km|mi}} of paved roads,WEB,weblink Roads, by Length and Area, 1 September 2016, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 15 February 2017, and 3 million motor vehicles.WEB,weblink 3.09 Million Motor Vehicles in Israel in 2015, 30 March 2016, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 15 February 2017, The number of motor vehicles per 1,000 persons is 365, relatively low with respect to developed countries. Israel has 5,715 buses on scheduled routes,JOURNAL,weblink Bus Services on Scheduled Routes, 2009, Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 5 February 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 10 June 2011, dead, operated by several carriers, the largest of which is Egged, serving most of the country. Railways stretch across {{convert|1277|km|mi}} and are operated solely by government-owned Israel Railways.WEB,weblink Railway Services, 1 September 2016, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 15 February 2017, 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.Israel is served by two international airports, Ben Gurion Airport, the country's main hub for international air travel near Tel Aviv, and Ramon Airport, which serves the southernmost port city of Eilat. There are several small domestic airports as well.BOOK,weblink Transportation in Israel, 2001, Jewish Virtual Library, 5 February 2010, 978-0-08-043448-3, dead,weblink 6 July 2008, Ben Gurion, Israel's largest airport, handled over 15 million passengers in 2015.WEB,weblink Statistics, Israel Airports Authority, 15 February 2017, On the Mediterranean coast, the Port of Haifa is the country's oldest and largest port, while Ashdod Port is one of the few deep water ports in the world built on the open sea. In addition to these, the smaller Port of Eilat is situated on the Red Sea, and is used mainly for trading with Far East countries.


{{see also|List of archaeological sites in Israel and the Palestinian territories}}File:Ein Bokek - Dead Sea2.jpg|thumb|Ein Bokek resort on the shore of the Dead SeaDead SeaTourism, 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.NEWS,weblink The Jerusalem Post, Tourist visits above pre-war level, Burstein, Nathan, 14 August 2007, 20 March 2012, 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.WEB,weblink Israel sees record 3.6 mln inbound tourists in 2017, Yan, 3 January 2018, Xinhua, WEB,weblink Israel sets new record with 3.6 million tourists in 2017, Amir, Rebecca Stadlen, 3 January 2018, Israel21, WEB,weblink Record 3.6m tourists visit Israel in 2017, Raz-Chaimovich, Michal, 27 December 2017, Globes, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 11 January 2018, Israel Sees Record 3.6 Million Tourists in 2017, 4 January 2018, Atlanta Jewish Times,


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-Arish–Ashkelon pipeline, which was terminated due to 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.NEWS, Israel Billionaire Tshuva Strikes Gas, Fueling Expansion in Energy, Hotels, David, Wainer, Calev, Ben-David,weblink Bloomberg, 22 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2011, 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.WEB,weblink The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency,, Israel had 199 billion cubic meters (bcm) of proven reserves of natural gas as of the start of 2016.WEB,weblink The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency,, Ketura Sun is Israel's first commercial solar field. Built in early 2011 by the Arava Power Company on Kibbutz Ketura, Ketura Sun covers twenty acres and is expected to produce green energy amounting to 4.95 megawatts (MW). The field consists of 18,500 photovoltaic panels made by Suntech, which will produce about 9 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year.WEB,weblink Ketura Sun Technical Figures, 26 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2012, dmy-all, In the next twenty years, the field will spare the production of some 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.WEB,weblink Ketura Sun Environmental Figures, 26 June 2011, {{dead link|date=September 2017 |bot=Triggerhippie4 |fix-attempted=yes }} The field was inaugurated on 15 June 2011.WEB,weblinkaccessdate=27 June 2011weblink" title="">weblink> archivedate= 7 July 2011 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.{{Citation> last = Roca title = Arava Closes Funding For $204 Million Israeli Solar Plants date = 22 May 2012weblink> accessdate = 3 June 2012}}


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.WEB,weblink National Research University Higher School of Economics, Asian Studies: Israel as a 'Melting Pot', 18 April 2012, Arab influences are present in many cultural spheres,BOOK, Mendel, Yonatan, Ranta, Ronald, From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian Culture in the Making of Israeli National Identity, {{Google books, dD_7CwAAQBAJ, yes, |year=2016|publisher=Routled|isbn=978-1-317-13171-7|p=137|quote= early settlers found it useful and suitable to imitate, adopt, adapt and later appropriate local customs, traditions, symbols and words. This was the principal process that we have unearthed in the book, and which changed in style, volume and recognition with time and with the shifting political environment in Palestine/Israel, yet was kept in the DNA of what Jewish-Israelis perceive as 'Israeliness'. It was an ongoing love-hate tango with the Arab-Palestinian 'other', which on the one hand represented the opposite of the 'self', and on the other hand, its presence was a mandatory ingredient in the creation of many of the customs, traditions and practices considered as local and as Israeli [...] the line of thinking according to which the Arab-Palestinian influence on Hebrew culture has been dramatically reduced following the creation of Israel as an independent state in 1948, is simply inaccurate and does not reflect the reality of Jewish-Arab-Palestinian relations. Not only were the early relations between settlers and Arab-Palestinians important – we would say essential – to our understanding of modern life in Israel and to Jewish-Israeli identity and culture, but the fascination leading to adaptation of Arab and Arab-Palestinian cultures did not end in 1948, it is in fact an ongoing process [...] many of the customs and traditions, which Jewish-Israelis define as belonging to the Israeli way of life and that represent 'Israeliness', are based on those early relations and cultural appropriations.}}BOOK, Mendel, Yonatan, Ranta, Ronald, From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian Culture in the Making of Israeli National Identity, {{Google books, dD_7CwAAQBAJ, yes, |date=2016|publisher=Routledge|pp=140–141|isbn=978-1-317-13171-7|quote= Jewish-Israeli identity and culture [...] have had a wide range of influences, among these were also Arab and Arab-Palestinian elements. When we looked at them in greater detail through Israeli food, Israeli dance, Israeli music, or Israeli symbols, we found – somewhere in their very root – also an Arab component. This is a unique influence not only because the Arab-Palestinian influence is common in different cultural fields, but because it seems that these influences are the least noted [...] Arab and Arab-Palestinian influence is much more important in understanding Jewish-Israeli identity and culture than given credit or recognised, and that it had an effect – at times basic and at times more profound – on the deferent cultural fields that constitute what Jewish-Israelis perceive as 'Israeliness' and the Israeli way of life. We believe that due to political reasons, the Arab influence on Israeli culture has been underestimated and overlooked [...] presentation of the Jewish and Arab identity and culture as two binaries is misleading. The two identities should be viewed more accurately as a scale with overlapping points, while acknowledging that – despite the conflict and at times because of the conflict – it is hard to admit that at the end of many Hebrew sentences sits an Arab smoking a 'nargilah' and that the Arab-Palestinian 'Other' is actually at the very heart of the Jewish-Israeli 'Self'... Jewish-Israelis and Arab-Palestinians share a number of similarities and points of contact that allow for easier diffusion of culture and symbols. These include, for example the presence of large communities of Jews who have originated in Arab countries and the increasing visibility and involvement of Arab-Palestinians in Israeli politics, economy and society. It is therefore expected that this proximity will result in constant cultural diffusion.}} such as architecture,JOURNAL,weblink Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Encounters: The Vernacular Paradox of Israeli Architecture, Ran, Ami, 6 September 2007, 25 August 1998, music,NEWS,weblink Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian DJs create bridge for peace, Brinn, David, 23 October 2005, 20 March 2012, ISRAEL21c, and cuisine.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The International Israeli Table, 26 June 2009, Israel is the only country in the world where life revolves around the Hebrew calendar. Work and school holidays are determined by the Jewish holidays, and the official day of rest is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.JOURNAL,weblink Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jewish Festivals and Days of Remembrance in Israel, 16 September 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 August 2007,


File:Agnon.jpg|thumb|upright|Shmuel Yosef Agnon, laureate of the Nobel Prize in LiteratureNobel Prize in LiteratureIsraeli 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.JOURNAL,weblink Jewish National and University Library, Depositing Books to The Jewish National & University Library, 21 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 May 2012, In 2016, 89 percent of the 7,300 books transferred to the library were in Hebrew.WEB,weblink The Annual Israeli Book Week Report 2016, National Library of Israel, 26 April 2018, In 1966, Shmuel Yosef Agnon shared the Nobel Prize in Literature with German Jewish author Nelly Sachs.JOURNAL,weblink Nobel Foundation, The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966, 12 August 2007, Leading Israeli poets have been Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, and Rachel Bluwstein. Internationally famous contemporary Israeli novelists include Amos Oz, Etgar Keret and David Grossman. The Israeli-Arab satirist Sayed Kashua (who writes in Hebrew) is also internationally known.{{Citation needed|date=March 2016}} Israel has also 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.WEB, Emile Habibi, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink 21 June 2014, WEB, Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1992 (in Hebrew),weblink

Music and dance

File:Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.jpg|thumb|Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by alt=Several dozen musicians in formal dress, holding their instruments, behind a conductorIsraeli 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.{{Harvard citation no brackets |Broughton |Ellingham |Trillo |1999 |pp=365–369}}WEB,weblink National Geographic Society, Israel, World Music, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 February 2012, Among Israel's world-renowned{{Harvard citation no brackets|Ben-Sasson|1985|p=1095}}BOOK, Whose Master's Voice?: The Development of Popular Music in Thirteen Cultures, Ewbank, Alison J., Papageorgiou, Fouli T., 1997, Greenwood Press, 978-0-313-27772-6, 117, harv, orchestras is the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which has been in operation for over seventy years and today performs more than two hundred concerts each year.JOURNAL,weblink Ministry of Foreign Affairs (from Israel21c), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 70th anniversary, 5 February 2007, 13 August 2007, Davis, Barry, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 February 2007, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Ofra Haza are among the internationally acclaimed musicians born in Israel.{{Citation needed|date=March 2016}} Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nearly every year since 1973, winning the competition four times and hosting it twice.WEB,weblink Israel, Eurovision Song Contest, European Broadcasting Union, 31 May 2013, WEB,weblink History, Eurovision Song Contest, European Broadcasting Union, 31 May 2013, Eilat has hosted its own international music festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival, every summer since 1987.WEB,weblink Red Sea Jazz Festival, About the Red Sea Jazz Festival, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 March 2012, 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.WEB,weblink National Geographic Society, Israeli Folk Music, 20 March 2012, World Music, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 January 2012,

Cinema and theatre

Ten Israeli films have been final nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards since the establishment of Israel. The 2009 movie Ajami was the third consecutive nomination of an Israeli film.NEWS, 'Ajami' nominated for Oscar, Hannah, Brown, Jerusalem Post, 2 February 2010,weblink harv, Palestinian Israeli filmmakers have made a number of films dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict and the status of Palestinians within Israel, such as Mohammed Bakri's 2002 film Jenin, Jenin and The Syrian Bride.{{Citation needed|date=March 2016}}Continuing the strong theatrical traditions of the Yiddish theatre in Eastern Europe, Israel maintains a vibrant theatre scene. Founded in 1918, Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv is Israel's oldest repertory theater company and national theater.JOURNAL,weblink he:התיאטרון הלאומי הבימה, Habima National Theatre, 13 August 2007, Hebrew,


The 2017 Freedom of the Press annual report by Freedom House ranked Israel as the Middle East and North Africa's most free country, and 64th globally.REPORT, April 2017, Freedom of the Press 2017,weblink Freedom House, 26, 30 September 2017, In the 2017 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, Israel (including "Israel extraterritorial" since 2013 ranking)NEWS, Diab, Khaled, 11 February 2013, Preaching – and Practicing – Media Freedom in the Middle East,weblink Haaretz, 9 January 2017, was placed 91st of 180 countries, first in the Middle East and North Africa region.WEB,weblink 2017 World Press Freedom Index, 2017, Reporters Without Borders, 30 September 2017,


File:Billy Rose Art Garden (14755133799).jpg|thumb|Shrine of the Book, repository of the Dead Sea ScrollsDead Sea ScrollsThe Israel Museum in Jerusalem is one of Israel's most important cultural institutionsJOURNAL,weblink The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, About the Museum, 13 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 March 2013, and houses the Dead Sea Scrolls,JOURNAL,weblink The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Shrine of the Book, 13 August 2007, dead,weblink 9 July 2007, along with an extensive collection of Judaica and European art. Israel's national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, is the world central archive of Holocaust-related information.WEB,weblink Yad Vashem, About Yad Vashem, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 March 2012, Beit Hatfutsot ("The Diaspora House"), on the campus of Tel Aviv University, is an interactive museum devoted to the history of Jewish communities around the world.JOURNAL,weblink Beth Hatefutsoth, Museum Information, 13 August 2007, 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.NEWS, 25 March 2008, Mishkan LeOmanut,weblink Haaretz, 4 November 2017, Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.WEB,weblink 10 of Israel's best museums, Ahituv, Netta, 29 January 2013, CNN, 9 January 2017, Several Israeli museums are devoted to Islamic culture, including the Rockefeller Museum and the L. A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art, both in Jerusalem. The Rockefeller specializes in archaeological remains from the Ottoman and other periods of Middle East history. It is also the home of the first hominid fossil skull found in Western Asia, called Galilee Man.BOOK, {{Google books, 4Z0YrPfeHa8C, yes, |title=Through the Ages in Palestinian Archaeology: An Introductory Handbook|page=50|first=Walter E.|last=Rast|year=1992|isbn=978-1-56338-055-6|publisher=Continuum International Publishing Group|postscript=. "Galilee man" (lowercase "m") in this source is a typo â€“ ref. Solo Man, Peking Man and so forth.}} A cast of the skull is on display at the Israel Museum.WEB, The Israel Museum Permanent Exhibitions: Archaeology Wing â€“ The Dawn of Civilization, Skull (cast) Zuttiyeh Cave Lower Palaeolithic,weblink The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, 1995, 13 March 2013,


File:Food in Israel.jpg|thumb|A meal including falafel, hummus, French fries and Israeli saladIsraeli saladIsraeli cuisine includes local dishes as well as Jewish cuisine brought to the country by immigrants from the diaspora. Since the establishment of the state in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli fusion cuisine has developed. Israeli cuisine has adopted, and continues to adapt, elements of the Mizrahi, Sephardi, and 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 also common in Israel.{{Citation needed|date=March 2016}}Roughly half of the Israeli-Jewish population attests to keeping kosher at home.Uzi Rebhun, Lilakh Lev Ari, American Israelis: Migration, Transnationalism, and Diasporic Identity, Brill, 2010 pp. 112–113.Julia Bernstein, Food for Thought: Transnational Contested Identities and Food Practices of Russian-Speaking Jewish Migrants in Israel and Germany, Campus Verlag, 2010 pp. 227, 233–234. Kosher restaurants, though rare in the 1960s, make up around 25% of the total {{As of|2015|lc=y}}, perhaps reflecting the largely secular values of those who dine out.Yael Raviv, Falafel Nation, University of Nebraska Press, 2015 Hotel restaurants are much more likely to serve kosher food. The non-kosher retail market was traditionally sparse, but grew rapidly and considerably following the influx of immigrants from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Together with non-kosher fish, rabbits and ostriches, pork—often called "white meat" in IsraelBernstein, pp. 231–233.—is produced and consumed, though it is forbidden by both Judaism and Islam.NEWS,weblink Israel's Pork Problem, Slate (magazine), Slate, New York, 8 August 2012, 28 December 2015,


File:Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem.jpg|thumb|Teddy StadiumTeddy StadiumThe most popular spectator sports in Israel are association football and basketball.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Torstrick|2004|p=141}} The Israeli Premier League is the country's premier football league, and the Israeli Basketball Premier League is the premier basketball league.JOURNAL,weblink Winner Basketball Super League, Basketball Super League Profile, 13 August 2007, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem are the largest football clubs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv have competed in the UEFA Champions League and Hapoel Tel Aviv reached the 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.WEB,weblink Israel Barred from Asian Games, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 26 July 1976, 11 April 2014, In 1994, UEFA agreed to admit Israel, and its football teams now compete in Europe.{{Citation needed|date=March 2016}} Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. has won the European championship in basketball six times.WEB,weblink Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv – Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL, 30 October 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2014, In 2016, the country was chosen as a host for the EuroBasket 2017.File:BorisGelfandSicilianDefence.jpg|thumb|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.NEWS,weblink Pawn stars shine in new 'national sport', Haaretz, 21 May 2012, 4 October 2010, 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.WEB,weblink Chess in Schools in Israel: Progress report, 28 May 2012, FIDE, 7 January 2017, 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.NEWS, Chess masters set to blitz Rishon Letzion, Eitan, Bekerman, Haaretz, 4 September 2006,weblink JOURNAL,weblink World Team Championship in Beer Sheva, Israel, World Chess Federation, 13 March 2009, 1 November 2005, The Israeli chess team won the silver medal at the 2008 Chess OlympiadNEWS, Israel takes silver medal in Chess Olympiad, Uri, Tzahor, Ynetnews, 26 November 2008,weblink and the bronze, coming in third among 148 teams, at the 2010 Olympiad. Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand won the Chess World Cup 2009NEWS, Israeli grand master Boris Gelfand wins Chess World Cup, Eli, Shvidler, Haaretz, 15 December 2009,weblink and the 2011 Candidates Tournament for the right to challenge the world champion. He only lost the World Chess Championship 2012 to reigning world champion Anand after a speed-chess tie breaker.Israel has won nine Olympic medals since its first win in 1992, including a gold medal in windsurfing at the 2004 Summer Olympics.WEB,weblink International Olympic Committee, Israel, 20 March 2012, 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.WEB,weblink Tel Aviv 1968, International Paralympic Committee, 20 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2012, 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.WEB,weblink Shahar PEER, International Tennis Federation, 19 February 2017, 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.JOURNAL,weblink subscription, Choke! Gouge! Smash!, Ellis, Judy, Time, 4 May 1998, 1 January 2017,

See also




  • BOOK, {{Google books, hYiIWVlpFzEC, PA429, yes, |page=429|first=Andrew|last=Sanger|title=The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla|journal=Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 2010|volume=13|editor1=M.N. Schmitt|editor2=Louise Arimatsu|editor3=Tim McCormack|date=2011|isbn=978-90-6704-811-8|quote=Israel claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a Stale nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the territory. However the Plan also provided that Israel will guard and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border. and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will.Israel continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in and out of the territory. Egypt controls one of Gaza's land crossings. Troops from the Israeli Defence Force regularly enter pans of the territory and/or deploy missile attacks, drones and sonic bombs into Gaza. Israel has declared a no-go buffer zone that stretches deep into Gaza: if Gazans enter this zone they are shot on sight. Gaza is also dependent on israel for inter alia electricity, currency, telephone networks, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave the territory. Israel also has sole control of the Palestinian Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since 2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions Israel has refused to add people to the Palestinian Population Registry.It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied.|doi=10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14|series=Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law}}
  • BOOK, International Law and the Classification of Conflicts, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Iain, Scobbie, Iain Scobbie, Oxford University Press, 2012, 978-0-19-965775-9, 295, {{Google books, GM90Xp03uuEC, PA295, yes, |quote=Even after the accession to power of Hamas, Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at will in Gaza.}}
  • BOOK, Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships, Michelle, Gawerc, Lexington Books, 2012, 978-0-7391-6610-9, 44, {{Google books, Hka8FZ4UdWUC, PA44, yes, |quote=While Israel withdrew from the immediate territory, Israel still controlled all access to and from Gaza through the border crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. ln addition, Gaza was dependent upon Israel for water electricity sewage communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). ln other words, while Israel maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended with its unilateral disengagement Palestinians – as well as many human right organizations and international bodies – argued that Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied.}}


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  • BOOK, McNutt, Paula M., 1999, Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel, {{Google books, hd28MdGNyTYC, yes, |publisher=Westminster John Knox |isbn=978-0-664-22265-9 |ref=harv}}
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  • BOOK, Morris, Benny, Benny Morris, 2008, 1948: A History of the First Arab–Israeli War, {{Google books, J5jtAAAAMAAJ, yes, |publisher=Yale University Press |isbn=978-0-300-14524-3 |ref=harv}}
  • BOOK, Triumph of the File: The Media's War in the Persian Gulf â€” A Global Perspective, Mowlana, Hamid, Gerbner, George, Schiller, Herbert I., 1992, Westview Press, 978-0-8133-1610-9, harv,weblink
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  • BOOK, Power Kills: Democracy As a Method of Nonviolence, Rummel, Rudolph J., 1997, Transaction Publishers, R. J. Rummel, 978-0-7658-0523-2, harv,
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  • BOOK, The Land Beyond Promise: Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream, Shindler, Colin, 978-1-86064-774-1, 2002, I.B.Tauris Publishers, harv,
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  • BOOK, Deterring America: Rogue States and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, 978-0-521-86465-7, Cambridge University Press, 2006, Smith, Derek, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, The Hope Fulfilled: The Rise of Modern Israel, Stein, Leslie, 2003, Greenwood Press, 978-0-275-97141-0, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, The Arabs in Israel, Stendel, Ori, 978-1-898723-23-3, 1997, Sussex Academic Press, harv,weblink
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  • BOOK, Culture and Customs of Israel, Torstrick, Rebecca L., 978-0-313-32091-0, 2004, Greenwood Press, harv,

External links

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General information

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