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Israel is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south, and it contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.
Israel is defined as a Jewish and Democratic State in its Basic Laws and is the world's only Jewish-majority state.

Israel's financial centre is Tel Aviv, while Jerusalem is the country's most populous city, and its capital (although not recognized internationally as such).
The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2012 to be 7,869,900 people, of whom 5,923,500 are Jewish.
Arabs form the country's second-largest ethnic group, the great majority of whom are settled-Muslims, with smaller numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins and mostly city dwelling Arab Christians. Smaller minorities include Christians of various ethnicities (Russians, Maronites, Copts, Assyrians and others), Druze, Circassians and Samaritans.

Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage.The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel's unicameral legislative body. Israel has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.It is a developed country, an OECD member, and its economy, based on the nominal gross domestic product, was the 40th-largest in the world in 2011. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East.

Source: Wikipedia.com

Israel is blessed with a variety of landscapes, climates, and rare natural assets. Despite its small size, Israel boasts Mount Hermon with its snow-capped peaks in the winter, green Mediterranean surroundings and wetlands and arid expanses. Israel also boasts a world record: the shore of the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on the face of earth, and Makhtesh Ramon. These phenomena are present in Israel thanks to a rare combination of processes involving types of rock, geological events and climate change.

Isael's variety of climates and habitats contributes greatly to the rich diversity of species. Its geographical location also plays an important role: Israel is the meeting place of plants and animals from Europe, Africa, and Asia. No fewer than 26 species of fresh-water fish inhabit Israel, along with six species of amphibians, some 90 species of reptiles, more than 500 bird species and 90 species of mammals.

Some 2,400 species of vascular plants flourish in Israel - an amazing variety in such a small country. More than 100 species are endemic, that is, they exist only in Israel and nowhere else on earth. In comparison, all of Great Britain, which is 10 times the size of Israel, has only 1,50 species of plants.

Israel is also special from the point of view of its contribution to world culture. Since the dawn of history many cultures have left their mark on this country. The faith in one God developed in the Land of Israel, and it is rich in sacred sites to Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other faiths.

Protection of NatureUntil the modern era, balance was more or less preserved between human activities and the world of flora and fauna. However thereafter, the development of lands for agriculture. uncontrolled hunting and the growth of communities took a great toll on groves and forests. Until the 19th century, animals such as the roe deer, the Syrian bear, the fallow deer, and the cheetah could still be seen. But firearms had wiped them out completely by the time the state was established.. Only after1955, when the Knesset passed the Wild Animals Protection Law, the country’s first nature conservation legislation, were conditions created for the protection of animals from extinction.

Source: www.parks.org.il

Ten facts about Israel

  • Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East.

  • Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees – ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.

  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship – and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.

  • Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).

  • Israel has one of the the highest percentages in the world of home computers per capita.

  • Israel has been at the forefront of some of the major technological advances in recent years, including: some of the development for the very first cell phone was believed to have been done in Israel by Motorola (which has its largest development center in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel, the Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel, and voice mail technology was also developed in Israel.

  • Israeli bank notes have brail on them so the blind can identify them.

  • Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S, Russia and China), including an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16′s.

  • The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.

Source: igoogledisrael.com

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