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Israel (l/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), officially 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 Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, 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. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, 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. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. 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 British Mandate Palestine.

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In the news

15 March 2019 – 2019 Tel Aviv rocket strike
In response to a possible accidental launching of two rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Tel Aviv the day before, Israel launches hundreds of counter strikes directed at the town of (Associated Press)
14 March 2019 – 2019 Tel Aviv rocket strike
Two rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv, Israel; neither rocket was intercepted by the IDF's (IDF Spokesperson)
11 March 2019 –
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham visits the Israeli-occupied (The Times of Israel)
28 February 2019 – Corruption in Israel
The Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit says that after more than two years of investigations he has decided to indict Prime Minister (Sky News)
27 February 2019 – Israeli involvement in the Syrian Civil War, Israel–Russia relations
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Russian President (The Times of Israel)
27 February 2019 – Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
Ukraine withdraws from this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, after Ukrainian entrant Maruv said she refused to be used as a "political tool" after being asked to sign a contract saying she wouldn't hold any concerts in (BBC)



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