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Israel: a holy land for many religions

Israel (Medinat Yisra’el) is a parliamentary republic of the Middle East, bordering Lebanon to the north, Syria to the north east, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the south west. The country to the west is washed by the Mediterranean Sea and in the far south by the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba). The capital of Israel is Jerusalem (but the UN recognizes Tel Aviv). While they have been under Israeli administration since 1967 East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

A LARGE DESERT TERRITORY

East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights are under Israeli administration from 1967. The Israeli territory presents at the north the mountains of Galilee, where is Mount Meron (1,208 metres), the highest peak in the country.To the south of the mountains of the Galilee lies the Esdraelon (Jezreel) plain, one of the most densely populated and cultivated areas in the country, to the west rises Mount Carmel (525 metres) south of this goes over the flat 200 km coastline that is home to most of the major cities of the country.

Along the border with Jordan are the Jordan river valley and the depression of the Dead Sea, a salt lake with very high salinity. This is the deepest depression on the planet, located at – 420 meters below sea level. Only the southwestern sector of the Dead Sea is found in Israeli territory.

The most important river in the country is Jordan, of which only the higher water-course flows in Israeli territory. While belongs largely to Israel the Sea of Galilee (166 sq km), a fresh water lake, also known as the Lake Kinneret. In the south of the country extends the Negev desert, which constitutes more than half of Israeli territory. This desert is a steppe and desert region with tabular mountain structures that rise above 1,000 meters (Har Ramon, 1,035 meters, Har Saggi, 1,006 meters).

A VERY DEVELOPED ECONOMY

The Israeli economy is one of the most developed in the Middle East. Agriculture, thanks to important irrigation works, is very important. Citrus, fruit, tomatoes, potatoes, vines, olive trees, cereals (wheat, barley, sorghum), cotton are grown. Breeding is remarkable (cattle, sheep, goats and farmyard animals), fishing is also important.

A certain importance is played by the mineral resources of the country. Developed is the industry in particular that linked to the transformation of agricultural products, and the textile, metallurgical, electronic, chemical and petrochemical sectors. The tourism sector, one of the main voices of the country’s trade balance, strengthens every year, despite the tension with the Palestinians. Tourism in the country is especially religious.

The climate of Israel.

  • Area: 20,770 sqkm. (Arable 21%, Pastures 7%, Forests and Woodlands 6%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 66%)
  • Population: 7,184,000 (2007 data) (Hebrew 76%, Arab 20%)
  • State Capital: Jerusalem.
  • Languages: The official languages are Hebrew and Arabic.
  • Religion: Jewish 76%, Muslim 16%, Christian 2%, Druse 1,7%.
  • Currency: New Israeli Shekel (ILS)
  • Time: UTC +2 hours (Summer UTC +3 hours)

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