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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Israel General Info
Israel General Information - TravelPuppy.com
Area

22,145 square kilometres (8550 square miles, includes East Jerusalem and the Golan sub-district).

Population

6,631,000 people (the official estimate for 2002).

Population Density

306 people per square kilometre.

Capital

Jerusalem.

Population of Jerusalem (Including East Jerusalem)

680,400 (the official estimate for 2002).

The Israeli government has designated Jerusalem as the capital, although this is not recognised by the United Nations, and most foreign embassies are based in Tel Aviv.

Geography

Some key geographical facts:

Israel is on the eastern Mediterranean, bordered by Lebanon and Jordan to the east, the Syrian Arab Republic to the north, and Egypt to the south.

 The independent Palestinian Authority Region lies mostly on the west bank of the River Jordan.

Part of the Gaza strip, in the south of Israel, is also administered by the Palestinians.

 Israel stretches southwards through the Negev Desert to Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea.

 The fertile Plain of Sharon runs along the coast, while inland, parallel to the coast, is a variety of hills and uplands with fertile valleys to the west and arid desert to the east.

 The Great Rift Valley begins beyond the sources of the River Jordan and expands south through the Dead Sea (the lowest point in the world), into the Red Sea, continuing on into Eastern Africa.

Government

The government in Israel is Republic. The state of Israel was established in 1948.

The Head of State has been Moshe Katzav since 2000.

The Head of Government has been Prime Minister Ariel Sharon since 2001.

Language

Hebrew is the official language, spoken by about 2 3rds of the population. Arabic is spoken by around 15 % of the population. English is spoken in most places and other languages, including Russian, German, French, Hungarian, Polish, RIsraelian, Spanish and Yiddish are widely used.

Religion

77 % Jewish, 15% Muslim, with Christian, Druze and other minorities.

Time Zone

Greenich Mean Time (GMT) + 2 (GMT + 3 from March to September).

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50 Hz. 3 pin plugs are standard, and adaptors can be purchased in Israel if needed.
Useful travel links
CIA Factbook - Israel information on the geography, people & maps