Where is Israel located?

What countries border Israel?

Israel Weather

What is the current weather in Israel?

Israel Facts and Culture

What is Israel famous for?

  • Family: Israeli children are generally pampered. The equality of women is protected by law but often overridden by religious traditions. More
  • Personal Apperance: Daily wear is generally informal Western style. Orthodox Jews wear traditional clothing every day. Some orthodox males wear their hair... More
  • Recreation: Basketball and soccer Israel's most popular sports. The swim across Lake Kinneret and various marathons are also popular. Classical music... More
  • Food and Recipes: The most popular food is falafel or deep fried balls of ground chickenpeas. Eggplant is another popular food.  Israelis eat... More

Israel Facts

What is the capital of Israel?

Capital Jerusalem; note - the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 without taking a position on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty
Government Type parliamentary democracy
Currency New Israeli Sheqel (ILS)
Total Area 8,019 Square Miles
20,770 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Language Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language.
GDP - real growth rate 2.5%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $34,300.00 (USD)

Israel Demographics

What is the population of Israel?

Ethnic Groups Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab)
Nationality Noun Israeli(s)
Population 8,675,475
Population - note (includes populations of the Golan Heights of Golan Sub-District and also East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967) (July 2016 est.)

note: approximately 21,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2015); approximately 201,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem
Population Growth Rate 1.5%
Population in Major Urban Areas Tel Aviv-Yafo 3.381 million; Haifa 1.054 million; JERUSALEM (capital) 791,000
Urban Population 91.900000

Israel Government

What type of government does Israel have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Isaac HERZOG (since 7 July 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Benyamin NETANYAHU (since 29 December 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Knesset for a single 7-year term; election last held on 2 June 2021 (next to be held in June 2028); following legislative elections, the president, in consultation with party leaders, tasks a Knesset member (usually the member of the largest party) with forming a new government

election results:

2021: Isaac HERZOG elected president; Knesset vote in first round - Isaac HERZOG (independent) 87, Miriam PERETZ (independent) 26, invalid/blank 7

2014: Reuven RIVLIN elected president in second round; Knesset vote - Reuven RIVLIN (Likud) 63, Meir SHEETRIT (The Movement) 53, other/invalid 4
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal; 17 years of age for municipal elections
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Israel

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but naturalized citizens are not allowed to maintain dual citizenship

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization

note: Israeli law (Law of Return, 5 July 1950) provides for the granting of citizenship to any Jew - defined as a person being born to a Jewish mother or having converted to Judaism while renouncing any other religion - who immigrates to and expresses a desire to settle in Israel on the basis of the Right of aliyah; the 1970 amendment of this act extended the right to family members including the spouse of a Jew, any child or grandchild, and the spouses of children and grandchildren
National Holiday Independence Day, 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May
Constitution history: no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended)

amendments: proposed by Government of Israel ministers or by the Knesset; passage requires a majority vote of Knesset members and subject to Supreme Court judicial review; 11 of the 13 Basic Laws have been amended at least once, latest in 2020 (Basic Law: the Knesset)
Independence 14 May 1948 (following League of Nations mandate under British administration)

Israel Video

The Vine Studios- YouTube Israel in 4K | The Vine Studios

CountryReports YouTube Channel:

Join CountryReports YouTube Channel (Click Here)

Israel Geography

What environmental issues does Israel have?

Overview Israel is a narrow country at the junction of Asia and Africa. It takes about seven hours to drive its 280-mile length. The greatest distance east to west is about 65 miles.

The topography ranges from the rugged mountainous desert in the Dead Sea area to the flat coastal plain where Tel Aviv and Caesarea are located. The Negev Desert, Judean Hills, and the higher hills and mountains of the Galilee add to the variety of the country’s landscape. Over thousands of years, the rains have carved spectacular wadis or ravines in the permeable clay terrain of the remote desert areas where members of various religious sects have constructed their dwellings through the ages. There are also many natural caves, which were carved by the flow of rivers and subterranean waterways. Alongside rocky deserts, pleasant fields roll with wheat, olive trees, and grapevines.

The country has many natural parks, such as Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea, where one can find hills, forest, desert, and waterfalls in the same area. The highest point in Israel (excluding the areas occupied as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War) is Mt. Meron, at almost 4,000 feet; the lowest point is also the lowest point on Earth—the Dead Sea, some 1,200 feet below sea level. The colors of the landscape vary dramatically, depending on the season and the play of sunlight.


The climate in Israel varies greatly from place to place. The coastal plain has wet, moderately cold winters with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s. Then comes a beautiful spring followed by a long, hot, and humid summer during which the temperature can be more than 100 degrees. Hot spells, known as "sharav" or "khamsin," are quite common during spring and summer and can cause significant discomfort to persons with respiratory problems. These often are accompanied by hot desert winds from the east or the south, carrying dust and sand from as far away as the Sahara. A cooler fall then leads to the beginning of the rainy season in late October or early November. Jerusalem, which is inland and in the Judean Hills, some 2,500 feet above sea level, is generally drier and colder throughout the entire year. In the summer, it gets very hot, but it remains less humid than the coast. In the winter Jerusalem temperatures regularly drop below freezing, and it snows occasionally. The Negev, in the south, is a hot, mostly barren desert. Throughout the country, the rainy season lasts from October or November until March or April. The rains often come in heavy downpours and thunderstorms.

With the first hint of summer, people go to the beach. Israelis love outdoor concerts in summer, and the spectacular ancient sites in Caesarea and Jaffa are used as open-air theaters. The high daytime temperatures are cooled off by evening breezes both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Outdoor dining is especially popular in summer.

Fall is somewhat like a southern U.S. fall, with cooler weather and leaves falling off of trees. Winter comes suddenly, and rain falls regularly. In some years, rainfall is sparse, causing water shortages. The northern mountains, particularly Mt. Hermon in the disputed Golan Heights, will often have snow. Toward the south and the Negev, the weather remains balmy, though the nights are cold.

Border Countries Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km
Environment - Current Issues Limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides.
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Terrain Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Economy

How big is the Israel economy?

Economic Overview Israel has a technologically advanced free market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are offset by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.

Between 2004 and 2013, growth averaged nearly 5% per year, led by exports. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals, following years of prudent fiscal policy and a resilient banking sector. Israel's economy also weathered the 2011 Arab Spring because strong trade ties outside the Middle East insulated the economy from spillover effects.

Slowing domestic and international demand and decreased investment resulting from Israel’s uncertain security situation reduced GDP growth to an average of roughly 2.8% per year during the period 2014-17. Natural gas fields discovered off Israel's coast since 2009 have brightened Israel's energy security outlook. The Tamar and Leviathan fields were some of the world's largest offshore natural gas finds in the last decade. Political and regulatory issues have delayed the development of the massive Leviathan field, but production from Tamar provided a 0.8% boost to Israel's GDP in 2013 and a 0.3% boost in 2014. One of the most carbon intense OECD countries, Israel generates about 57% of its power from coal and only 2.6% from renewable sources.

Income inequality and high housing and commodity prices continue to be a concern for many Israelis. Israel's income inequality and poverty rates are among the highest of OECD countries, and there is a broad perception among the public that a small number of "tycoons" have a cartel-like grip over the major parts of the economy. Government officials have called for reforms to boost the housing supply and to increase competition in the banking sector to address these public grievances. Despite calls for reforms, the restricted housing supply continues to impact younger Israelis seeking to purchase homes. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers, coupled with guaranteed prices and customs tariffs for farmers kept food prices high in 2016. Private consumption is expected to drive growth through 2018, with consumers benefitting from low inflation and a strong currency.

In the long term, Israel faces structural issues including low labor participation rates for its fastest growing social segments - the ultraorthodox and Arab-Israeli communities. Also, Israel's progressive, globally competitive, knowledge-based technology sector employs only about 8% of the workforce, with the rest mostly employed in manufacturing and services - sectors which face downward wage pressures from global competition. Expenditures on educational institutions remain low compared to most other OECD countries with similar GDP per capita.
Industries high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, diamond cutting
Currency Name and Code New Israeli Sheqel (ILS)
Export Partners US 40.3%, Belgium 6.3%, Hong Kong 4.7%, UK 4%
Import Partners US 18.5%, Belgium 9.1%, Germany 7.1%, UK 6.7%, Switzerland 6.3%, Italy 4.6%

Israel News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Israel?
Source: Google News

Israel Travel Information

What makes Israel a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

The State of Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a modern economy. Following the 1967 War, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. In 1994 negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The resulting division of responsibilities and jurisdictions between Israel and the PA in the West Bank is complex and subject to change. PA security forces are responsible for keeping order in those areas where the PA exercises security functions. Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 and exercises de facto control there. Tourist facilities are widely available with certain exceptions, particularly in Gaza. Travelers may visit the websites of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism for tourist information. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Israel for additional information. Information about embassies and consulates in surrounding countries is available at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates. Official guidance on entry, customs requirements, arrests, and other matters in the West Bank and Gaza is subject to change without prior notice.


The crime rate is moderate in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Break-ins of parked vehicles are common at beach areas, the Dead Sea, cemeteries, and national parks (especially Caesarea National Park). Car break-ins and purse snatchings in cities and cemeteries occur regularly throughout Israel. U.S. citizens should not leave their valuables (including passports) unattended, in parked vehicles, or unsecured in hotels.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

U.S. citizens have occasionally been the victims of high-pressure sales tactics in Jerusalem's Old City tourist shops. In some cases, vendors have not disclosed the true cost of an item and convinced the buyer -- who is unfamiliar with the exchange rate -- to unwittingly sign a credit card sales receipt worth thousands of dollars. Tourists visiting shops in high-traffic tourist areas should not sign credit card receipts unless they are certain of the amount being authorized.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don't have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Penalties for breaking the law can be more serious than those in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Israeli or PA laws, even unknowingly, may be arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking illegal drugs in Israel and PA-administered areas are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza, your U.S. passport won't help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Modern medical care and medicines are available in Israel. A few hospitals in Israel and most hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, however, fall below Western standards. It is recommended that visitors have health insurance. Travelers can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English-language edition of the Ha'aretz newspaper, or refer to the Embassy's or Consulate General's medical lists.

Safety and Security

The current Department of State Travel Warning advises U.S. citizens to take due precautions when traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. U.S. citizens who visit or reside in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should closely consult the Travel Warning to ensure that they are aware of the security concerns. It is strongly recommended that you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so that you can receive the most up-to-date messages from the Department of State regarding safety and security developments.

Jerusalem: In Jerusalem, travelers should dress appropriately when visiting the Old City and ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. Most roads into ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays. Assaults on secular visitors, either for being in cars or for being "immodestly dressed," have occurred in these neighborhoods.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking on high-speed undivided two-lane roads is common and results in frequent accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.

U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem and their families have been prohibited from using public buses and their associated terminals. (Please review the Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for more details.)

The Government of Israel requires that all passenger car occupants use their seat belts at all times and that headlights be used during all intercity travel, both day and night, during winter. As of January 1, 2006, all drivers are required to carry fluorescent vests in the car with them at all times, and they are required to wear these vests whenever they get out of their cars to make repairs, change tires, etc. If a vehicle is stopped for a traffic violation and it does not contain a fluorescent vest, the driver will be fined. These vests can be purchased for a nominal price in all local gas stations. While cellular handset phone use is prohibited while driving, hands-free units are authorized.

West Bank and Gaza: Crowded roads are common in the West Bank and Gaza. During periods of heightened tension, cars with Israeli license plates have been stoned and fired upon. Emergency services may be delayed by the need for Palestinian authorities to coordinate with Israeli officials. Seat belt use is required and drivers may not drink alcohol. Individuals involved in accidents resulting in death or injury may be detained by police pending an investigation.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe