Israel

The State of Israel
  • מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (Hebrew)
  • دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل (Arabic)
Menorah surrounded by an olive branch on each side, and the name "Israel", in Hebrew, below it.
Emblem
Anthem: Hatikvah (The Hope; הַתִּקְוָה)
Political map of the Middle East with Israel in red. An inset shows a world map with the main map's edges outlined.
CapitalJerusalem
(limited international recognition)
Largest cityJerusalem
Official languages
Ethnic groups (2013[2])
DemonymIsraeli
GovernmentParliamentary democracy[1]
Reuven Rivlin
Benjamin Netanyahu
Yuli Edelstein
Miriam Naor
LegislatureKnesset
Independence from Mandatory Palestine
14 May 1948
Area
• Total
20,770–22,072 km2 (8,019–8,522 sq mi)[a] (153rd)
• Water (%)
2
Population
• 2013 estimate
8,134,100[b][3] (97th)
• 2008 census
7,412,200[b][4]
• Density
359/km2 (929.8/sq mi) (35th)
GDP (PPP)2012[5] estimate
• Total
$248.719 billion (49th)
• Per capita
$32,312 (26th)
GDP (nominal)2012[5] estimate
• Total
$240.894 billion (43rd)
• Per capita
$31,296 (26th)
Gini (2008)39.2[1]
medium · 66th
HDI (2013)Increase 0.900
very high · 16th
CurrencyNew shekel (‎) (ILS)
Time zoneIST (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST)
IDT (UTC+3)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (CE)
Drives on theright
Calling code+972
ISO 3166 codeIL
Internet TLD.il
  1. ^ Excluding / including the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem (see below).
  2. ^ Includes all permanent residents in Israel, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Also includes Israeli citizens living in the West Bank. Excludes non-Israeli population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
For the historical people of Israel, see Israelites.

The State of Israel is a country in southwestern Asia on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel became an independent country in 1948.[6] Israel is the only Jewish country, and Jews all over the world think of Israel as their spiritual home. Israel's population was 8.1 million people in 2013 and 6.04 million are Jewish. Almost all the other citizens of Israel are Arab (1.6 million) and include Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Samaritans.[7][8][9] Israel's largest city is Jerusalem. Israel's capital city is Jerusalem, which Palestine claims, but no countries recognize Palestine's claim. Most countries keep embassies in Tel Aviv.

Israel is a small country, but it has mountains, deserts, shores, valleys and plains. The climate is hot and dry in the summers, and cool and rainy in the winters.

Israel has few natural resources and imports more goods than it exports. It has a relatively high standard of living and life expectancy. Almost all of its people can read and write.

Israel is a democratic republic in the Middle East.

History

The country's history goes back thousands of years, to ancient times. Two world religions, Judaism and Christianity, began here. It is the place where the Jewish nation and religion first grew. Jews and Christians call it the Holy Land, because it is the place of many events described in the Bible, and because some commandments of Jewish law can be accomplished only on its soil.[source?]

Ancient

Three thousand years ago, the Canaanites and other Semitic peoples lived here. Between about 1800 and 1500 BCE, another Semitic people, called the Hebrews, settled in Canaan. They were named the “Children of Israel” or “Israelites”. The Israelites had 12 tribes. They chose a [king], Saul, as their leader. The next king, David, began the Kingdom of Israel in about 1000 BCE and made the city of Jerusalem his capital. His son, Solomon, built the first Temple for the worship of their God. Solomon died in about 928 BCE. His kingdom broke into two countries. The northern country kept the name Israel. The southern country, called Judah, kept Jerusalem as its capital.

The Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 732 BCE and the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. Many Jews returned from Babylonia and built a country again. First the Persians, then the Greeks and then the Romans ruled the Land of Israel.

The Jews fought against the Romans but the Romans defeated them. In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple there. Again, in 132 CE, the Romans defeated the Jews and killed or took many of them to other places. The number of Jews living in Israel became much smaller. Many were forced to live in other countries. This spreading of Jewish communities outside of Israel is called the Diaspora.

Many of the Jews who remained moved to the Galilee. Jewish teachers wrote important Jewish books, called the Mishnah and part of the Talmud there, in the 2nd to 4th centuries CE.

The Romans began to call this region by the word that became Palestine in English. The Roman and then the Byzantine empires ruled until 635 CE, when Arabs conquered the region. Different Arab rulers, and for a while Crusaders, ruled the land. In 1516, the Ottoman Empire conquered the land and ruled the region until the 20th century.

Modern

Since the Diaspora, there have been many attempts to make a new homeland for the Jewish people. In the 1880s, this wish for a Jewish nation in Israel became a movement called Zionism. Jews from all over the world began to come to the area and settled in desert zones, then governed by the Turkish and later by the British Governments.

On 14 May 1948, British control over the Palestine Mandate ended. The Jewish inhabitants (under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion) declared independence for the new Jewish state. Immediately following Israel's declaration of independence, the armies of several nearby countries – including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq – attacked the new country.[10] Since the 1980s, Israel's main military opponents have been Islamist groups, such as Hezbollah.[11]

Other Languages
Acèh: Israèl
Адыгэбзэ: Исраел
адыгабзэ: Исраил
Afrikaans: Israel
Alemannisch: Israel
አማርኛ: እስራኤል
Ænglisc: Israhēl
العربية: إسرائيل
aragonés: Israel
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܐܝܣܪܐܝܠ
armãneashti: Israel
arpetan: Israèl
অসমীয়া: ইজৰাইল
asturianu: Israel
Avañe'ẽ: Israel
azərbaycanca: İsrail
تۆرکجه: ايسرائيل
bamanankan: Israil
বাংলা: ইসরায়েল
Bân-lâm-gú: Í-sek-lia̍t
башҡортса: Израиль
беларуская: Ізраіль
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ізраіль
भोजपुरी: इजराइल
Bikol Central: Israel
български: Израел
Boarisch: Israel
bosanski: Izrael
brezhoneg: Israel
буряад: Израиль
català: Israel
Чӑвашла: Израиль
Cebuano: Israel
čeština: Izrael
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Israel
chiShona: Israel
chiTumbuka: Israel
corsu: Israele
Cymraeg: Israel
dansk: Israel
davvisámegiella: Israel
Deutsch: Israel
ދިވެހިބަސް: އިސްރާއީލު
dolnoserbski: Israel
eesti: Iisrael
Ελληνικά: Ισραήλ
English: Israel
español: Israel
Esperanto: Israelo
estremeñu: Israel
euskara: Israel
فارسی: اسرائیل
Fiji Hindi: Israel
føroyskt: Ísrael
français: Israël
Frysk: Israel
Gaeilge: Iosrael
Gaelg: Israel
Gagauz: İsrail
Gàidhlig: Iosrael
galego: Israel
贛語: 以色列
Gĩkũyũ: Israel
ગુજરાતી: ઈઝરાયલ
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐌹𐍃𐍂𐌰𐌴𐌻
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: इस्राएल
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Yî-set-lie̍t
한국어: 이스라엘
Hausa: Isra'ila
Hawaiʻi: ʻIseraʻela
Հայերեն: Իսրայել
हिन्दी: इज़राइल
hornjoserbsce: Israel
hrvatski: Izrael
Ido: Israel
Igbo: Israel
Ilokano: Israel
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: ইসরাইল
Bahasa Indonesia: Israel
interlingua: Israel
Interlingue: Israel
Ирон: Израиль
isiZulu: Isreyili
íslenska: Ísrael
italiano: Israele
עברית: ישראל
Basa Jawa: Israèl
kalaallisut: Israel
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಇಸ್ರೇಲ್
Kapampangan: Israel
ქართული: ისრაელი
kaszëbsczi: Izrael
қазақша: Израиль
kernowek: Ysrael
Kinyarwanda: Isirayeli
Kiswahili: Israel
коми: Израиль
Kongo: Israel
Kreyòl ayisyen: Izrayèl
kurdî: Îsraêl
Кыргызча: Асрайыл
Ladino: Israel
лезги: Израиль
لۊری شومالی: اٛسرائيل
Latina: Israël
latviešu: Izraēla
Lëtzebuergesch: Israel
lietuvių: Izraelis
Ligure: Isræ
Limburgs: Israël
lingála: Israel
Livvinkarjala: Izrail
la .lojban.: brogu'e
lumbaart: Israel
magyar: Izrael
मैथिली: इजरायल
македонски: Израел
Malagasy: Isiraely
മലയാളം: ഇസ്രയേൽ
Malti: Iżrael
Māori: Iharaira
मराठी: इस्रायल
მარგალური: ისრაელი
مصرى: اسرائيل
مازِرونی: اسرائیل
Bahasa Melayu: Israel
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ī-sáik-liĕk
Mirandés: Eisrael
мокшень: Израиль
монгол: Израиль
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အစ္စရေးနိုင်ငံ
Nāhuatl: Israel
Dorerin Naoero: Iteraer
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Isireli
Nederlands: Israël
Nedersaksies: Israël
नेपाली: इजरायल
नेपाल भाषा: इजरायल
日本語: イスラエル
Napulitano: Israele
нохчийн: Израиль
Nordfriisk: Israel
Norfuk / Pitkern: Esrail
norsk: Israel
norsk nynorsk: Israel
Novial: Israel
occitan: Israèl
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଇସ୍ରାଏଲ
Oromoo: Isiraa'el
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Isroil
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਇਜ਼ਰਾਇਲ
पालि: इस्रैल
Pälzisch: Israel
پنجابی: اسرائیل
Papiamentu: Israel
پښتو: اسرائيل
Patois: Izrel
Перем Коми: Исраэль
ភាសាខ្មែរ: អ៊ីស្រាអែល
Piemontèis: Israel
Tok Pisin: Israel
Plattdüütsch: Israel
polski: Izrael
Ποντιακά: Ισραήλ
português: Israel
Qaraqalpaqsha: İzrail
qırımtatarca: İsrail
Ripoarisch: Israel
română: Israel
Romani: Israel
Runa Simi: Israyil
русиньскый: Ізраіль
русский: Израиль
саха тыла: Исраил
Gagana Samoa: Isalaeru
संस्कृतम्: इजराइल
sardu: Israele
Scots: Israel
Seeltersk: Israel
Sesotho sa Leboa: Israel
shqip: Izraeli
sicilianu: Israeli
SiSwati: Ka-Israyeli
slovenčina: Izrael
slovenščina: Izrael
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Їꙁдраил҄ь
ślůnski: Izrael
Soomaaliga: Israaiil
کوردی: ئیسرائیل
Sranantongo: Israel
српски / srpski: Израел
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Izrael
Basa Sunda: Israél
suomi: Israel
svenska: Israel
Tagalog: Israel
தமிழ்: இசுரேல்
Taqbaylit: Israyil
tarandíne: Isdraele
татарча/tatarça: Исраил
తెలుగు: ఇజ్రాయిల్
tetun: Izraél
тоҷикӣ: Исроил
ᏣᎳᎩ: ᎢᏏᎵᏱ
ತುಳು: ಇಸ್ರೇಲ್
Türkçe: İsrail
Türkmençe: Ysraýyl
удмурт: Израиль
українська: Ізраїль
اردو: اسرائیل
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئىسرائىلىيە
Vahcuengh: Israel
vèneto: Israełe
vepsän kel’: Izrail'
Tiếng Việt: Israel
Volapük: Yisraelän
Võro: Iisrael
文言: 以色列
West-Vlams: Israël
Winaray: Israel
Wolof: Israayil
吴语: 以色列
ייִדיש: ישראל
Yorùbá: Ísráẹ́lì
粵語: 以色列
Zazaki: İsrail
Zeêuws: Israël
žemaitėška: Izraelis
中文: 以色列
डोटेली: इजरायल
ГӀалгӀай: Жугтече
Kabɩyɛ: Izrɛɛlɩ
Lingua Franca Nova: Israel