Israel officially the State of Israel (in Hebrew : מְדִינַת יִשְרָאֵל Medinat Yisra'el , AFI : [medinat jisʁaʔel] , in Arabic , دولة إسرائيل ( Dawlat Isrā'īl ), AFI : [dawlat ʔisraːʔiːl] ) - is a sovereign country in Asia , in the Middle East region , which is located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea . It is bordered to the north by Lebanon , to the east by Syria and Jordan , withPalestine and the Dead Sea to the east in the West Bank , to the west with the Gaza Strip , to the southwest with Egypt and to the south with the Gulf of Aqaba , in the Red Sea . With a population of almost 9 million, [ 7 ] the majority of whom are Jewish , Israel is the only Jewish state in the world. [ 12 ] It is also home to Muslim Arabs , Christians , Druze and Samaritans., as well as other religious and ethnic minority groups. The capital —with limited international recognition—, seat of government and largest city in the country is Jerusalem ; the main economic and financial center is in Tel Aviv-Yafo and the largest industrial center is located in Haifa .
The new state of Israel identifies its roots with the ancient Land of Israel ( ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisraˈel ), a concept central to Judaism for more than 3,000 years. [ 13 ] After World War I and during the partition of the Ottoman Empire , the League of Nations passed the British Mandate of Palestine with the intention of creating a "national home for the Jewish people." [ 14 ] In 1947 , the United Nations approved the partition of Palestinein two states, one Jewish and one Arab. [ 15 ] On 14 of maypole of 1948 , the State of Israel declared its independence , which was followed by the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 with neighboring Arab countries, who refused to accept the UN plan. Successive victories in a series of subsequent wars confirmed its independence and expanded the borders of the Jewish state beyond the provisions of the United Nations Partition Plan. Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries , with several wars and decades of violence. [ 16 ]Since its founding, Israel's borders and even the state's own right to exist have been subject to controversy, especially among its Arab neighbors. However, Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan , and efforts have been made to reach a permanent agreement with the Palestinian National Authority . [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ] [ 23] [ 24 ] [ 25 ] In January2020, the President of the United States,Donald Trump, presented by Israeli Prime MinisterBenyamin Netanyahu, unilateral peace plan to resolve the conflict. [ 26 ] [ 27 ] [ 28 ]
Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage . [ 12 ] The prime minister acts as the head of Government and the Knesset as the legislative body of Israel. In terms of gross domestic product , its economy is ranked 43rd by the International Monetary Fund . In turn, Israel is highly situated between the Middle East countries in human development , [ 29 ] freedom of expression [ 30] Andeconomic competitiveness. [ 31 ]
For the past three thousand years, Israel has identified, in common and religious usage, both the Land of Israel ( Eretz Yisraˈel ) and the entire Jewish people , [ 32 ] who have continued to refer to the former as their homeland, The Holy Land or the Promised Land , despite the fact that the Romans later changed the name of the territory to Syria Palestine after crushing the Bar Kokhba rebellion .
The noun comes from a passage in the Tanakh , the Hebrew Bible, where the biblical patriarch Jacob provoked the admiration of an angel after defeating him in a fight that lasted all night; He blessed him and changed his name to Yisra'el . [ 33 ] The Confederate tribes that recognized themselves as descendants of Jacob called themselves " Children of Israel " or " Israelites ." As for archeology , the oldest known mention of the name Israel , other than a personal name, is an epic tale recorded on the Merenptah stela of theAncient Egypt , dating from 1210 BC. C. , where it is used as a gentilicio , designating a town or group of people without association with a specific geographic location. [ 34 ]
When the new Jewish state was established in the mid- twentieth century , various names were considered for it, such as " Eretz Israel ," " Zion ," " Judea, " and "New Judea," which were eventually dismissed. [ 35 ] The modern name that the country adopted was Medinat Yisraˈel in Hebrew and Dawlat Isrā'īl in Arabic , the two official languages, with the same meaning of "State of Israel". The country's gentilicio in Spanish is Israeli and its plural is Israeli , [ 5 ]Adopted by his government a few weeks after independence. [ 36 ] The term Israelite is often used in Spanish in reference to the ancient inhabitants of the Kingdom of Israel , although it is also used as a synonym for Jewish or Hebrew , and even mistakenly for Israeli . [ 37 ]
The ancient land of Canaan , located southwest of the so-called Fertile Crescent , was since ancient times a land of transit and intermediate point between the flourishing civilizations of the Tigris River and the Euphrates , on the one hand, and the Nile Valley on the other. The region was divided into small independent city-states or local kingdoms, such as Moab , Edom , Judah , Israel , Aram or Phenicia , which had to face successive invasions from both neighboring empires ( Egypt , Assyriaor Babylon ), as of Arabian nomads or the Peoples of the Sea as the Philistines . In that land two of the greatest milestones of Western civilization saw the light: the Semitic alphabet , the origin of many ancient and modern alphabets , and a monotheism from which the Abrahamic religions come , both achievements spreading throughout the West. It also saw the birth of the world's first cities (such as Jericho ), seven thousand years ago, in the midst of the Neolithic revolution , as well as one of the world's first ports, ancient Jaffa .
The Land of Israel has been sacred to the Jewish people since biblical times , hosting the holiest places in Judaism . According to the Torah , it was promised by Yahveh to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people as their homeland; [ 38 ] [ 39 ] Some scholars have located this period at the beginning of the second millennium. C. [ 40 ] At the time of Akhenaten (c. 1350 BC ) there were numerous Hebrew tribeslocated on the eastern bank of the Jordan River , trying to cross it and settle in the most fertile lands of the western bank. In the last days of Ramses II , with Canaan divided between Egyptians and Hittites , new Hebrew tribes arrived on the banks of the Jordan. Several of them allied to invade Canaan, carrying out this coalition in a tribal manner , identifying themselves as the descendants of the sons of Jacob , Yisra'el , grandson of the patriarch Abraham , for which they called themselves children of Israel .
These Hebrew tribes, who had the same origin as the Amorites and spoke a dialect of the same Semitic language that was already spoken in Canaan, crossed the Jordan River around 1240 BC. C. and they conquered Jericó , from where they extended by the mountainous regions of the zone, adopting the Semitic alphabet and many other aspects of the Canaanite culture. According to tradition, questioned by some archaeologists , at the end of the 11th century BC. C. Saul established the first of a series of Israelite kingdoms in Canaan, which would rule it intermittently for the next thousand years. [41 ] Around the year 1000 BC. Two kingdoms were established, Israel and Judah , which came to form a united monarchy in military opposition to the Philistines and other bordering peoples. According to traditional scriptural history, this unified kingdom was ruled by Kings Saul , David, and Solomon before their final separation (in 924 BC); the Tel Dan stele is generally accepted as the oldest (and only to date) archaeological evidence for the existence of the Davidic dynasty . [ 42 ]
Later, under the successive foreign dominions of Assyria , Babylon , the Achaemenid Empire , Macedonia , and the Seleucid Empire , the presence of Jews was substantially diminished as a result of the successive expulsions to which they were subjected. The people of Israel were independent only three times after the Babylonian exile: the first time was during the Seleucid rule, when the Hasmonean dynasty arose , an oligarchy formed by the priestly family of the Maccabees . The Hasmonean dynasty managed to free itself from the Seleucid yoke and ruled the Jewish people for a century, from the year164 a. C. to 63. C. , when the country was submitted to Rome by Pompey . The second independent stage took place during the First Judeo-Roman War ( 66 - 73 ), when the Jews revolted for the first time against Rome (already established in the empire ). During this war there was the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple , as well as the death of more than a million Jews and the origin of the exodus of many survivors.
The last moment of full independence for the Jewish people was the brief period of the Bar Kochba rebellion . For three years ( 132 - 135 ) Jewish forces resisted the Roman Empire, until finally the revolt was crushed by the Emperor Hadrian . The failure of the revolt caused the definitive expulsion of the Jews from the country and the reconstruction of Jerusalem as a Roman colony under the name of Aelia Capitolina . Once the Jewish state was destroyed and most of its population exiled, the Romans intentionally changed the name of the country, which was renamed Syria Palestineor simply Palestine, a name derived from the ancient adversaries of the Jews, the Philistines . Interestingly, the Mishnah and the Talmud , two of the most important texts in Judaism, were written in exile from this time on. [ 43 ]
Middle and Modern Ages
After the division of the Roman Empire, Palestine was under the rule of Byzantium until 639 , when the Arab conquest took place. The Umayyad dynasty (661-750), despite the many problems that the social and ethnic complexity of the territory they dominated posed, did not register any major national problems (among the different ethnic groups of the empire, and especially between the Arabs and the others) nor clashes between religious communities, nor between non-Muslims and the central power. [ 44 ] [ 45 ] The Abasí califato (750-1258), also known as Baghdad Caliphate, succeeded the Umayyad, being finally replaced by the Seljuk dynasty (1071).
Between 1096 and 1244 motivated by religious fervor, the loss of Byzantine power to the Turks and the impossibility of making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the European nobility promoted several Crusades . The First Crusade took place in 1099 and ended with the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of four Crusader States in the Middle East, including the Kingdom of Jerusalem . During the taking of Jerusalem the crusaders carried out a bloody massacre, which did not respect Jews or Muslims. [ 46 ]Throughout the following decades of Christian rule there was the settlement of European settlers, especially Italians and Franks, and a notable commercial increase driven by the maritime republics . The city of Jerusalem was conquered in 1187 by Saladin , founder of the Ayubid dynasty , at that time Sultan of Egypt and Syria . The Third Crusade allowed the Kingdom of Jerusalem to survive, although it was confined to a narrow strip of land near the coast. The Ayubí dynasty was replaced by that of the Mamluks in 1250, who with the taking of Acre in 1291 ended the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
In 1517 the region was subdued by the Ottoman Empire , whose rule lasted four centuries (until 1917), during which time it was part of the Damascus-Syria vilayato , one of the many Ottoman provinces. Despite everything, a meager Jewish community was always maintained, fluctuating considerably through the centuries. In 1881 , with respect to a total estimated population of 470,000 inhabitants, 20,000 to 25,000 Jews lived in the area, with a main presence in Jerusalem , where by 1884 they were one of the majority ethnic groups, until they became the majority in 1896. absolute.
Diaspora and immigration
After various uprisings, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and forced almost all Jews to flee Israel, beginning a long period of exile known as the Diaspora . Diaspora Jews yearned to return to Israel for centuries. For example, in 1141 the Sephardic Yehuda Halevi appealed to the Jews to return to Eretz Israel , making the return to Zion himself, where he met his death. A century later, the Spanish Rabbi Nahmanides emigrated to Jerusalem and since then there has been a constant presence of Jews, especially in Jerusalem. The also Sephardic Yosef Caro emigrated to the great Jewish community ofSafed in 1535 . Migratory waves took place, for example, in the period 1209-1211. Also famous was the " aliyah of the rabbis of France and England" to Acre in 1258 and 1266. In 1260 Jehiel from Paris emigrated to Acre with his son and a large group of followers. Small waves of Jewish migration took place during the 18th century, such as that of Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and 300 of his followers, Judah he-Hasid and around 1,000 disciples and more than 500 disciples (and their families) of Gaon of Vilna known as Perushim.. Waves of rabbinical students immigrated in 1808-1809, settling in Tiberias , Safed, and later in Jerusalem.
In 1860 , the ancient Jewish community of Jerusalem began to build residential neighborhoods outside the walls of the Old City. In 1878 , the first modern agricultural settlement was founded in Petah Tikva . [ 47 ]
Zionism and aliyah
The first great wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine, known as aliyah , began in 1881 , as a result of the persecutions to which Jews were subjected in Europe and the ideas of Moses Hess , a Zionist-socialist who advocated the redemption of the territory regarded as the Hebrew homeland. The Jews bought land from the Ottoman authorities and Arab landowners, thus creating the first agricultural settlements. It is at this time that the first tensions between Arabs and Jews can be appreciated.
The rise of Zionism, founded by Theodor Herzl , led to the second Aliyah (1904-1914) in the course of which some 40,000 Jews emigrated to Palestine. In 1909 a group of Russian Jews who arrived after the failure of the 1905 revolution , founded Degania , the first kibbutz .
In 1917, the British Foreign Minister, Arthur James Balfour , issued a statement promoting the idea of establishing a homeland in Palestine for the Jewish people (the so-called Balfour Declaration ). In 1920 Palestine was awarded to the United Kingdom for administration as a Mandate of the League of Nations .
Between 1916 and 1929, there were several attacks on the part of the Arabs against the resident Jewish and Christian communities and against the pilgrims of the Holy Land . The most important were those of 1920 and those of 1929 in Safed and Hebron (see Hebron Massacre ). Already before 1919 Christians had been harassed by Arabs, furious over the sale of land in the Christian part of Jerusalem to Jewish buyers.
In 1920 the Arab attacks were met with a surprising response, not from the British who ignored the intentions of the Arabs to attack the Jewish community, but from the Jewish advocacy groups founded by, among others, Ze'ev Jabotinsky . It was in that year that the Haganah was born .
Many of the attacks on Jews were promoted by Amin al-Husayni . Al-Husayni, a militant anti - Semite and the main Palestinian leader for decades, would later become the main Arab ally of the Third Reich . [ 48 ] [ 49 ]
The advance of Nazism in 1933 gave rise to the Fifth Aliyá . The Jews of Palestine, who in 1882 made up 8% of the population and who grew to 16.9% in 1931, came to represent 28.1% in 1936 [ 50 ] and owned 6% of the territory of the British mandate in 1943 . [ 51 ] The Holocaust , together with the refusal of the Western powers to open their borders, caused another wave of immigrants to Palestine, raising their number to 600,000 Jewish inhabitants.
In 1939 , the British abandoned the commitment to favor the creation of a Jewish state, as well as the partition of Palestine, advocating a single state in the region. In addition, they took steps to limit Jewish immigration and restricted the purchase of land by Jews (see White Paper ). Despite this, when the Second World War broke out, the Zionist leaders strongly supported Great Britain. The British, however, maintained the ban on Jewish immigration to Palestine throughout World War II. Many Jews were intercepted and returned to Nazi-dominated Europe, although large numbers were able to enter the country clandestinely.
During the cold war , Soviet Jews were frequently regarded as traitors and spies, on that pretext once again official anti-Semitism was practiced by the Soviet authorities. Many Jews tried to leave the USSR , but very few obtained the corresponding permission to emigrate. Simply applying for a visa posed a serious risk, often leading to the loss of their jobs, the confiscation of their assets, and even the ostracism of the entire family. [ 52 ] After the 1967 war , the situation of Jews who were refused visas, already known as refuseniks, became a permanent subject of denunciation by western human rights groups. Some of them, like Natan Sharansky , were confined in gulags for several years.
With the policies of glásnost and perestroika , already in the last years of the Soviet Union and once the long-awaited right of the refuseniks to emigrate was achieved , hundreds of thousands of Jews decided to leave the USSR. Between 1987 and 1991 alone, more than half a million Jews left the USSR and Russia, of which 350,000 went to Israel and 150,000 to the United States . [ 53 ]
This great migratory wave (between 700,000 and 1 million people for a total population of 6 million Israelis), which lasted approximately 10 years, had a significant influence on Israel's demographic balance and economic development, generating a leap positive in the country, also thanks to the number of new immigrants with good academic level in all branches of science and technology. [ 53 ]
To this day, immigrants and Jewish descendants from all over the world continue to arrive in Israel, despite recent conflicts such as the Second Lebanon War ; thus, Jews from countries such as the United States and France arrived making aliyah that same year thanks to the Law of Return .
The State of Israel
In 1947 , one year after the attack on the King David Hotel by the Irgún , a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated during the British Mandate of Palestine between 1931 and 1948, and after continuous outbreaks of violence by Jewish and Arab militant groups and before the Unable to reconcile both populations, the British government decided to withdraw from Palestine and put the resolution of the conflict in the hands of the UN. Following the report of the Peel Commission, an international commission that assessed the situation on the ground, the United Nations General Assembly approved on November 29, 1947 a plan that divided Palestine into two states., giving the Arabs and Jews a similar extension of land (43.7%, about 11,500 km², for the Arab State; and 53.6%, about 14,100 km², for the Jewish State, which included the Negev desert , 45% of the country's surface), [ 52 ] despite the fact that in 1946 Jews made up 30% of the population of Palestine. [ 54 ] 2.7% of the territory (700 km²) around the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was considered a corpus separatum and would be administered by the United Nations. [ 55 ] The UN did not adopt any provision to implement the Plan and, just two weeks later, in a public meeting held on December 17, theThe Arab League approved another resolution that strictly rejected the UN resolution and in which it warned that, to avoid the execution of the UN plan, it would use all means at its disposal, including armed intervention. [ 52 ]
The 14 of maypole in 1948 , hours before the expiry of the British Mandate over Palestine , the State of Israel was proclaimed in the territory granted by the plan of the United Nations, abolishing as a first step the anti - immigration laws UK which prevented for years the legal entry of new Jews to Palestine. [ 52 ]
There was no attempt by the UN to prevent the armed intervention that the Arab League had proclaimed months ago [ 56 ] and, the day after the declaration of independence, the five neighboring Arab countries declared war on the nascent State of Israel. and they tried to invade it. In the intermittent war that took place over the next 15 months (with several truces promoted by the UN), Israel conquered 26% more land than the old mandate, while Transjordan occupied the areas of Judea and Samaria , now known as the West Bank. , and Egypt occupied the territory corresponding to the current Gaza Strip.
At the end of the war , an Arab population estimated by the UN at some 711,000 people was deprived of their homes in Israeli-controlled areas. [ 57 ] According to the UN's own terminology, only a third are technically " refugees ", those who found a host in neighboring Arab countries; the rest, those who settled in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are "displaced" within the country itself. [ 58 ] On the other hand, a significant number of Jews remained in Arab territory and were expelled, including some Jewish communities established in Palestine since ancient times, among which the one in East Jerusalem stands out .
The immigration of Holocaust survivors and that of Jewish refugees living in Arab countries, in some cases before Arabization and Islamization, [ 59 ] doubled the Jewish population in Israel within a year of the country's independence. During the following decade, approximately 600,000 Eastern Jews , a number equivalent to that of Palestinian refugees, fled or were expelled from Arab territories. [ 60 ]In which some Jewish communities had been living for almost 2,000 years, and took refuge in Israel (additionally some 300,000 Jews emigrated to France and the United States, leaving a very small Jewish population in the Arab countries, mainly in Morocco and Tunisia) . [ 52 ] In total some 900,000 Jews became the "other refugees" mentioned in UN resolution 242). (see Jewish Exodus from Arab countries )
The Sinai War of 1956
The Sinai War was unleashed as a result of the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the blockade of the Straits of Tiran , an access route to the main Israeli trading port in the Gulf of Aqaba , by Egypt; as well as the fedayeen attacks on Israel. France and the United Kingdom established a secret military alliance with Israel, and the three countries attacked Egypt by surprise and in a coordinated fashion, occupying the Suez Canal, completely dismantling the Egyptian army and annihilating its air force. In just one week, Israel conquered the entire Sinai Peninsula, including strategic areas such as Sharm el-Sheikh, which is key to access the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba, essential to free the outlet to the sea from the Israeli port of Eilat . If Israel's objectives were a military success, for France and the United Kingdom, who achieved their objective of occupying the Suez Canal, it was the complete opposite: latest failures of the former colonial powers in decline.
The Sinai War represented a military defeat for Egypt , but a moral and political victory. Joint diplomatic pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union, unusually in agreement in the face of the surprising maneuver by London and Paris, which sought to recover the Suez Canal, forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Gaza, that is, had to return to the pre-war situation that had led it to conquer 60,000 square kilometers in just one week. Following the ceasefire decreed by the UN, Egypt accepted the UN interposition force at the border ( UNEF, an «Emergency Force» created for this purpose), to maintain the demilitarization of the region and avoid border incidents. It was difficult for Israel to renounce the enormous conquests obtained in this blitzkrieg, but in exchange for the withdrawal it managed to protect the border with Egypt from guerrilla infiltrations, thanks to the deployment of the multinational force, and thereby gained nine years of tranquility.
The consequences of the 1956 war left the region in an unstable situation, with an apparent border peace (although the Arab states still did not recognize Israel), but with a rise of pan-Arab Nasserism that has the Palestinian cause as a mobilizing element. Syria, aligned with the Soviet bloc , began sponsoring terrorist assaults on Israel in the early 1960s, as part of its "war of liberation," with the aim of diverting attention from domestic opposition to the Baathist dictatorship . [ 61 ]
The National Aqueduct
In September and October 1953 Israel began to divert the waters of the Jordan River , causing serious tensions. [ 62 ] In 1964, Israel began operating the diversion, drawing water from the Jordan River for its National Aqueduct . From January 13 to 17, the Arab summit takes place in Cairo , where Arab leaders affirm their opposition to Israel's diversion of the waters of the Jordan River. [ 63 ] The following year, the Arab states began construction of the Headwater Diversion Plan . When finished, it would divert the water from theThey give Banias to neither enter Israel nor Lake Tiberias , but flow into a retaining wall located in Mukhaiba for Jordan and Syria. It would also divert water from the Hasbani River to the Litani River in Lebanon . The diversion would have reduced the capacity of transporting water to Israel by approximately 35%. Despite the diversion, still in 1990 the availability of water per capita in Israel was 470 cubic meters, while in neighboring Jordan it was 260 cubic meters, 45% less than in the Israeli case. [ 64 ]The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacked the project in Syria in March, May and August 1965, perpetuating a prolonged series of acts of violence on the border that directly contributed to the events that led to the war. [ 65 ]
On December 14, 1993, 155 states approved, at the United Nations, the Declaration of Principles signed by Israelis and Palestinians, the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, and gave full support to the achievements of the peace process. In 1996, under the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, Israel agreed to provide Jordan with 50 million cubic meters of water annually.
For the UN, the scarcity of water in the region, characterized by an arid and semi- arid climate , is increasingly considered a crucial issue for the well-being of its countries and peoples. [ 66 ] The Palestinian Territories , especially the upper parts of the West Bank , possess an abundance of renewable water resources compared to the rest of the Middle East. [ 67 ] However, the severe restrictions on water drilling, planting and irrigation that Israel has imposed on the Palestinians have kept the amount of water available to the Palestinian population at a low level. The unstates that Israeli policies ensure that most of the water in the West Bank is filtered underground into Israel and that Israeli settlers have preferential access to water resources. As a consequence, a man-made water crisis undermines the living conditions of the Palestinian people. Water is one of several issues that are being addressed in the multilateral talks, while a broad and fair allocation of water resources in the Jordan River basin , the West Bank and the Gaza aquifers has yet to be negotiated by the parties. relevant.
War of the six days
The Six Day War was an armed conflict that took place in the Middle East in 1967. Warned by the withdrawal of the Blue Helmets from the Sinai border , the blockade of the Straits of Tiran and the movements of troops from Egypt , [ 68 ] Syria and Jordan to the other side of the border, next to the massing of Iraqi units and Kuwaitis and other Arab countries, Israel decided to go on the offensive to avert which meant an imminent assault and attacked Egypt. Despite the fact that the Arab media promised the destruction and annihilation of the entire Israeli population, [69 ] bringing memories of the shoah back to the fore, other sources later questioned whether the Arabs were actually going to attack Israel. [ 70 ]
During the conflict, Israel conquered the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal , later initiating a plan to colonize the peninsula. In 1973 Egypt recovered the east bank of the canal, during the so-called Yom Kippur war ; meanwhile the Israeli troops, recovered from the initial surprise, crossed the channel, stopping 101 kilometers from the Egyptian capital, Cairo . After this lightning action, Egypt was the only Arab country (apart from Jordan) that signed peace with Israel, [ 70 ] formalized in the Camp David peace accords , which resulted in the return of the Sinai Peninsula. (except forGaza Strip ), the recognition of the State of Israel by Egypt, and the establishment of diplomatic relations for the first time between Israel and one of its 4 bordering countries, including the exchange of ambassadors.
Also during the 1967 war, Israel conquered the West Bank territories with East Jerusalem , then under Jordanian administration, as well as occupied the Golan Heights , in Syrian territory. In October 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, Syrian troops attacked Israeli positions on the Golan Heights, while Egypt fought along the Suez Canal. After the first Syrian conquests, Israel drove the Syrians from the Golan Heights and advanced until reaching 32 kilometers from Damascus. Following the ceasefire agreement signed between Syria and Israel in May 1974, a demilitarized zone was established between the Syrian and Israeli positions. Israel incorporated the Golan Heights into its administrative system in 1981, in the Northern District , although it has not formally annexed them.
War and occupation of southern Lebanon
Finally, Israel has kept a strip of land in southern Lebanon under military occupation for nearly twenty years , the so-called "security zone" by Israel, due to continuous attacks from southern Lebanon against cities. from northern Israel by Palestinian armed groups. Already in 1978 the Tsahal carried out the so - called Operation Litani , in order to liquidate the Palestinian bases from which guerrilla infiltrations against Israel were carried out.
The Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which began on June 6, 1982 after the assassination of the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov , at the hands of the Abu Nidal group , caused the PLO to flee to Tunisia, with the armed group Hezbollah occupying its void. , supported by the Syrian and Iranian regimes . Israel withdrew unilaterally from this area on May 24, 2000 , in compliance with Resolution 425 of the UN Security Council of 1978, due to the electoral promise of Prime Minister Ehud Barak.to seek a compromise peace with both Syria and Lebanon, a peace proposal that was later rejected by the Syrian regime, which maintained its presence in Lebanon until 2005 and its military support for Hezbollah .
In July 2006 , following the assassination of eight Israeli soldiers in an ambush on the border and the kidnapping of another two by Hezbollah militants, it was considered an "act of war" by Israel and the Israeli-Lebanese crisis of 2006 broke out. .
Status of Jerusalem
As part of the plan for the partition of Palestine , Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly, of November 29, 1947 established that « The city of Jerusalem will be established as a" corpus separatum "under a special international regime and will be administered by the United Nations ”. [ 71 ] However, the war that the Arab countries unleashed against Israel immediately after the Declaration of Independence made that resolution inapplicable. [ 72 ]
After the armistice agreed in July 1949, the city of Jerusalem, which was to be international, was divided in two; the eastern part, which included the Old City , was formally united with Jordan ; and the western part remained within the State of Israel, [ 73 ] which proclaimed it as its capital in 1950.
In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel also conquered the eastern part of the city, called East Jerusalem . He immediately segregated it from the West Bank and de facto annexed it to the rest of the municipality. In July 1980, by means of the Jerusalem Law , Israel reunited in its national legislation both parts in a single municipality, proclaiming it as its "eternal and indivisible capital". [ 74 ]
Just a month later, as a measure of punishment for the annexation, the UN advised its member states to move their embassies to the city of Tel Aviv . Since then, in this city the diplomatic headquarters of those countries that maintain relations with Israel and international organizations have been located , this because sovereignty over East Jerusalem is disputed and the international community prefers to wait for the official status to be resolved through the negotiations with your neighbors. [ 75 ] [ 76 ] [ 77 ][ 78 ] The last to adopt this measure were theUnited Statesin 2017 andBrazilin 2019. However,ParaguayandBoliviamaintain theirs inMevaseret Sion, a suburb of West Jerusalem. For its part, the United States passed a law in 1995 declaring that "Jerusalem must be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and in accordance with that law. [ 79 ]
This law ("Foreign Relations Authorizations Act, Fiscal Year 2003", HR 1646), which cannot be construed as an order but as a suggestion, was rejected by the White House for unduly interfering with the constitutional authority of the President of the United States. United States, the only one authorized to handle the foreign relations of the United States. [ 80 ] [ 81 ] In May 2018, thanks to an order of the President Donald Trump , the US embassy. UU. Was transferred to Jerusalem.
government and politics
Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system and separation of powers with universal suffrage . [ 6 ] The Israeli political system is made up of the legislative , executive and judicial branches . Its most important institutions are the president , who serves as head of state , the Knesset (the country's unicameral parliament), the prime minister and his Cabinet , which make up the government, and the judicial system, whose highest court is theSupreme Court and its independence is guaranteed by law.
Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the Knesset can dissolve the government at any time by a motion of confidence . The fundamental Laws of Israel function with an unwritten constitution . In 2003, the Knesset began to draft an official constitution based on these laws. [ 6 ]
The Judicial System of Israel consists of a three - tier system. The lowest level is the magistrates' courts , located in most cities across the country. Above them are the district courts , which act as courts of appeal and courts of first instance , which are located in five of the six Districts of Israel . The third and highest level is the Supreme Court of Israel , located in Jerusalem . It fulfills a dual role as a Supreme Court of Justice and as a Superior Court of Justice. In the latter role, the Supreme Court makes rules as a court of first instance, which allows people, both citizens and non-citizens, to petition against the decisions of state authorities. [ 84 ] [ 85 ] The law of Israel combines the common law , the civil law and Jewish religious law ( Halacha ). [ 6 ] It is based on the principle of stare decisis(precedent) and is an adversarial system, where the parties to the lawsuit must present evidence to the court. In court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries. [ 84 ] Marriage and divorce are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish , Muslim , Druze, and Christian . The election of the magistrates is carried out by a committee of members of the Knesset, magistrates of the Supreme Court, and members of the Israel Bar Association. [ 86 ]
Its degree of respect for political rights and civil liberties makes it the only country in the region considered "free" according to the evaluation carried out by Freedom House . [ 87 ] The level of civil liberties allows open criticism on state issues by groups such as B'Tselem , an organization of Israeli human rights intellectuals highly critical of the government's actions in Gaza and the West Bank, in addition to others. anti-Zionist or anti-Israel groups that operate legally in Israel.
According to Transparency International , in the Corruption Perception Index for 2010 Israel, with 61 points, occupies the 30th position in the ranking among 178 countries (in which 1 is the least corrupt and 178 the highest index of perception of corruption) . [ 88 ] The corruption index remained at 61 points in 2013 (0 = perception of high levels of corruption and 100 = perception of very low levels of corruption). [ 89 ]
In 2007 Israel maintained diplomatic relations with 161 countries and had 94 diplomatic missions around the world. [ 90 ] Three members of the Arab League have normalized relations with Israel: Egypt and Jordan , which signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively, and Mauritania , which opted for full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1999 . Since 2003, relations with Morocco have been growing steadily and the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs has visited the country. [ 91] Under Israeli law,Lebanon,Syria,Saudi Arabia,IraqandYemenare enemy countries and Israeli citizens will not be allowed to visit them without permission from the Ministry of the Interior. Since1995,Israel has been a member ofthe Mediterranean Dialogue, which fosters cooperation between seven countries in theMediterranean Basinand the members of theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization. [ 92 ]
Spain recognized the State of Israel on January 17, 1986 by decision of the Council of Ministers chaired by Felipe González , while at the same time, in The Hague, capital of the rotating Presidency of the European Union, the representatives of both governments sign the act of establishing relationships. [ 93 ]
The United States , Turkey , Germany , the United Kingdom, and India are among Israel's closest allies. The United States was the first country to recognize the State of Israel , followed by the Soviet Union . Israel can be considered its main ally in South West Asia , based on shared policies and religious values. [ 94 ] Despite not establishing full diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel until 1991 , [ 95 ]Turkey has cooperated with the state since it confirmed recognition of Israel in 1949 . However, Turkey's ties with other Muslim-majority nations in the region have at times led to pressure from Arab states to moderate their relationship with Israel. [ 96 ] Strong ties between Germany and Israel include scientific and educational cooperation, and both states maintain strong ties in the economic and military sectors. [ 97 ] [ 98 ] India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 and has fostered strong ties with the country both in the military sector and culturally since. [ 99] TheUnited Kingdom, which has maintained full diplomatic relations with Israel since its formation, has carried out two visits by the head of state in 2007. Relations between the two countries were consolidated during the government of former Prime MinisterTony Blairdue to his efforts. to find a resolution to the two states. The UK is seen as a "natural" relationship with Israel on account of the British mandate for Palestine. [ 100 ] Iran had diplomatic relations with Israel under the rule of thePahlavi dynasty, [ 101 ] but withdrew its recognition of Israel during the Iranian Revolution. [ 102 ]
In Latin America , Colombia is a strong political and commercial ally of Israel, such that 80% of Colombia's exchanges in the Middle East are with Israel. [ 103 ] . He has also advised the Colombian government through spies for the selective assassination of thousands of people from left-wing parties, such as the Patriotic Union . [ 104 ] . Panama , since the founding of Israel, has been a strong ally, voting against the admission of the Palestinian State as an observer member of the United Nations in 2012; likewise, the former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli went so far as to affirm in a state visit to Israel in 2010 that "Israel is the guardian of Jerusalem", [ 105 ] in addition to the fact that Panama was the first American country to have a Jewish president: Eric Arturo Delvalle . Ecuador was the third country within the United Nations to recognize Israel and the first in Latin America to buy IAI Kfir fighter jets . On the contrary, both Venezuela and Bolivia broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009, following the conflict in the Gaza Strip of 2008-2009 . [ 106 ]
In the case of India , Israel has had diplomatic relations with that country since 1991 . Before that date, India had a more pro- Arab and pro- Soviet position , voting even against the founding of Israel in the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 , arguing that it opposed the creation of countries based on the religion (such as his opposition to the founding of Islamic Pakistan and Sikh Khalistan ); however, it is possible that this distancing was due more to geopolitical reasons. In any case, a series of factors brought about India's rapprochement with Israel starting in 1991 , including the dissolution of the Soviet Union (which had strong ties with India), the declaration by the Organization of the Islamic Conference that Kashmir it was legitimately the territory of Pakistan in 1986 , and the criticisms of that organization against India on the human rights of Muslims in 2001 , which distanced India from the Islamic world . The rise to power of the Likudin Israel, led by Ariel Sharón , and the Bharatiya Janata in India, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee , also had its influence, since both the Likud and the BJP are conservative parties , linked to religious nationalist groups of Jews and Hindus respectively and that promote a heavy-handed policy against Islamic terrorism .
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to India in 2003 was marred by angry protests against Sharon led mainly by Muslims in the country, where he was accused of genocide and war crimes on banners. Jaswant Singh was the first chancellor of India to visit Israel in 2000 . Although diplomatic relations between Israel and India remained normal even with the change of government to the center-left Indian National Congress , Muslims in India remain largely pro-Palestinian. [ 107 ]
In 2010 the official recognition of the Palestinian territories as independent state by four South American nations - Argentina , Brazil , Bolivia and Uruguay - [ 108 ] [ 109 ] [ 110 ] provoked angry criticism from the Israeli government.
|CESCR||CCPR [ 113 ]||CERD [ 114 ]||CED||CEDAW [ 116 ]||CAT||CRC||MWC||EARL [ 120 ]|
|Signed and ratified, signed, but not ratified, neither signed nor ratified, No information, has agreed to sign and ratify the body in question, but also recognizes the competence to receive and process individual communications by the competent bodies.|
The territory of Israel is divided into 6 districts or betterzot (מחוזות), led by a commissioner appointed by the Ministry of the Interior. They are: Central , Haifa , Jerusalem , North , South, and Tel Aviv .
In turn, the districts are divided into fifteen sub-districts known as nafot (נפות), which are in turn divided into fifty natural regions . [ 122 ] The natural regions are not administrative units used by the Government of Israel to statistical issues and population census .
The districts are an inheritance of the Ottoman Empire that controlled the region and among their powers are those of drawing up local legislation, controlling local taxes and budgets, approving public works projects and granting credits to local governments.
As for the territories occupied during the Six Day War , the Golan Heights are administratively integrated into the Northern District , East Jerusalem into the Jerusalem District and the West Bank , governed by the Israeli Civil Administration , integrates the Judea and Samaria Area for statistical purposes only. The Gaza Strip ceased to be administered by Israel following its withdrawal in 2005 .
Statistically the country is divided into three metropolitan areas: Tel Aviv and Gush Dan (with a population of 3,150,000 inhabitants), Haifa (996,000 inhabitants), and Beersheba (531,600 inhabitants). [ 123 ] However, the largest city in Israel, both in population and area, [ 124 ] is Jerusalem , with 732,100 inhabitants in an area of 126 square kilometers. Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Rishon LeZion are among the most populous cities in Israel, with a population of 384,600, 267,000, and 222,300 respectively. [ 125 ]
|Subdistricts||Population (2016)||Density ( inhab / km² )|
|Central||Ramla||1293||Rishon LeZion, Sharon (Netanya), Petaj Tikva, Ramla, Rejovot||2 115 800||1636,3|
|Haifa||Haifa||864||Haifa, Hadera||996 300||1153,1|
|Jerusalem||Jerusalem||652||Jerusalem||1 083 300||1661,5|
|Meridional||Beerseba||14231||Ascalón , Beersheba||1 244 200||87,4|
|North||Nazareth||4478||Kinneret , Safed , Acre , Golan , Valle de Jezreel||1 401 300||312,9|
|Tel Aviv||Tel Aviv-Yafo||176||Bat Yam , Bnei Brak , Guivatayim , Jolón , Ramat Gan , Tel Aviv||1 388 400||7888,6|
|Judea and Samaria (***) Claimed||Ariel||5878||Judea and Samaria area||
2,592,555 citizens of the Authority Palestinian National [ 126 ] |
399 300 Jewish settlers / Israeli [ 127 ]
The State of Israel borders Lebanon in the north, a border officially recognized by the UN after the Israeli withdrawal from the south of that country; with Syria to the northeast, with Jordan , the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the east, and with Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the south, its borders with Jordan and Egypt being recognized from the peace agreements signed with both countries.
Israel has not yet established its borders with Syria or with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank area, although in this sense the international community tends to consider the Green Line as the border , the armistice line between Israel and its Arab neighbors that functioned as the border of Israel. facto until the Six Day War . Israel also maintains large blocks of settlements close to the line and beyond, especially around East Jerusalem and the Etzion Bloc, and the city of Ariel in the West Bank .
As part of the peace process, under the slogan "lands for peace", Israel handed over the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, including the Egyptian-administered Gaza Strip, following a total evacuation of the Israelis in 1982. In September, In 2005, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to the "Green Line."
Israel has the highest proportion of military expenditures in relation to its Gross Domestic Product and its budgets of all developed countries ; [ 128 ] [ 129 ] in 1984, for example, the country came to spend more than 24% of its GDP on defense, although this proportion has tended to fade, and the figure was 6.2% in 2012. [ 130 ] the Israel Defense Forces ( IDF ) are the only military branch of the security forces of Israel. The Defense Forces are headed by the Ramatcal , a rank equivalent tolieutenant general , who in turn is subordinate to the Council of Ministers. The Israeli army is divided into the Headquarters of the Israeli Army or Land Army, commonly known as the Mazi , the Israeli Air Force and the Navy . The Israeli army was founded in 1948, during the first Arab-Israeli war , through the consolidation and union of the main paramilitary organizations of the Haganah , predecessor of the IDF . [ 131 ] The country's armed forces also have the Directorate of Military Intelligence or Aman, responsible for intelligence agencies such as Mosad or Shabak . [ 132 ] The Israel Defense Forces have been involved in various wars and border conflicts, which is why they are considered one of the best-trained armies in the world, despite their short history. [ 133 ] [ 134 ]
Most Israelis must serve in the military at 18 years of age. Men serve for three years and women for two or three. [ 135 ] After compulsory service , men go to the reserve until they are 40 years of age. It is customary for several weeks a year during their stay in the reserve to serve on active duty. For their part, the vast majority of women are exempt from being part of the reserve. The Arab Israeli citizens are also exempt, except the Druze. Full-time students of religious subjects are exempt from military service, a measure that has generated a strong controversy in Israeli society for years, especially with the exemption enjoyed by students of yeshivot ( ultra-Orthodox Jews ). [ 136 ] [ 137 ] An alternative to exempt or do not wish to serve in the armed forces is the Sherut Leumi or other national service program where volunteers serve in hospitals, schools and other places and activities of public interest. [ 138 ] As a result of the imposition of military service, the army has about 176,500 active soldiers and 445,000 additional reservists, very high figures for a population that barely exceeds 8 million inhabitants. [ 139 ]
The country's military equipment consists mostly of high-tech weapons systems designed and manufactured in Israel, as well as foreign imports. Since 1967, the United States has been the most notable foreign ally and contributor in terms of military aid. Good military relations between the US and Israel are still maintained, as only between 2013 and 2018, Israel received US military aid worth 3150 million dollars . [ 140 ] [ 141 ] Israel also has the Arrow missile, which will allow you to operate one of the only missile shields that exist in the world, [ 142 ]the Iron Dome or Iron Dome , anti - ballistic missile system that has earned congratulations from many countries worldwide to intercept hundreds of Qassam , BM-21 , Fajr-5 coming mainly from the Gaza Strip . [ 143 ] [ 144 ]
Since the 1973 Yom Kippur War , Israel has developed a space network of spy satellites - officially called reconnaissance . [ 145 ] The success of the Ofeq program , the name given to this satellite network, has made Israel one of the only seven countries in the world with this type of system. [ 146 ] Although it has never been proven, the international community assumes that Israel has possessed nuclear weapons since the 1960s, in addition to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.. [ 147 ] [ 148 ] It is estimated that Israel has between 75 and 400 warheads nuclear capable of being launched from aircraft, submarines or long - range ballistic missiles. [ 149 ] Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear capability, known as "strategic ambiguity". [ 150 ] Since the 1991 Gulf War , when Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles , every house in the country must have a security room or Merkhav Mugan, capable of resisting attacks with chemical and biological weapons. [ 151 ]
In addition, the Israeli army also carries out occupation tasks in the West Bank, through the Israeli Civil Administration , which is an integral part of the Israel Defense Forces and the central command of both ordinary and emergency operations on the ground. [ 152 ]
Israel lives in an almost permanent state of conflict because its right to exist has been subject to controversy since its founding. In addition to recognized wars such as the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 , the Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, the War of Attrition of 1968-70, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the War of 1982 Lebanon and the 2006 Lebanon War ; Israel experienced a First Intifada in 1987, Iraqi missile attacks in 1991 prior to the Gulf War , the Second Intifada in 2000, theConflict in the Gaza Strip of 2008-2009 , Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, the Clashes in the Golan Heights of 2012-2013 and multiple suicide bombings. Israel ranks 150th out of 162 countries in the Vision of Humanity's Global Peace Index in 2013. [ 153 ] The armed forces have been accused, in 2009, by Human Rights Watch , of violating the laws of war for not taking all precautions to distinguish between civilians and combatants before opening fire. [ 154 ] In its 2014 report Amnesty Internationalassured that the armed forces committed human rights violations in their blockade of the Gaza Strip, including forced evictions, impediment of freedom of movement, promotion of illegal settlements, house demolition, expulsion of immigrants, administrative detention without trial, destruction of property and death of civilians during the military offensive. [ 155 ] AI also reported that during Operation Protective Edge , Palestinian armed groups and the Hamas organization fired thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Israeli civilian areas, killing civilians including children. [ 156 ] [ 157 ]
A United Nations rapporteur questioned the legality of the army offensives in the Gaza Strip in 2009, [ 158 ] while the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence , made up of war veterans, denounced the excesses in Gaza, accusing Israel not to make a distinction between military and civilians. [ 159 ] In December 2004 the Israeli Army admitted killing 148 unarmed Palestinians - most of them young militants who attacked the Israeli Armed Forces with incendiary cocktails and stones, not weapons - since the beginning of that year. [ 160 ]
In 2009 , the Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, called genocide military offensive in Gaza, named by the Israeli Army Operation Cast Lead . [ 161 ] In September 2010, the UN Human Rights Council classified the Israeli attack on the so-called Freedom Flotilla as a serious violation of human rights and humanitarian law , where the Israeli Navy, in international waters, attacked with live fire at different boats, killing several activists (see attack on the Gaza flotilla ) . [ 162]
The Merkava , designed and manufactured in Israel, is the main battle tank of the Israel Defense Forces
View of two F-15 fighters of the Israel Air Force
The Iron Dome mobile air defense system
In Israel three geomorphological regions are distinguished , from west to east: the Mediterranean coastal plain , the central mountain range and the Jordan River valley (the deepest depression on Earth). To these three regions, we must add that of the Negev desert , made up of a plain and calcareous mountains and located in the south of Israel. Arid regions occupy more than half of the territory of Israel.
Even though a good part of the territory is desert, in the valleys there are many lilies , and also trees such as pines , eucalyptus , olive trees and acacias . The gorse grow sporadically in the desert of the Negev. There are reforestation initiatives that are carried out throughout the country, especially in the mountains, where pines, oaks , cypresses and laurels take root successfully.
Located between the deserts of Africa and Asia , on the one hand, and the warm and humid Mediterranean Sea , on the other, Israel is at a crossroads of climatic influences that have made it possible to distinguish up to forty different types of climate in such a small area. The thermal regime varies considerably with altitude and continentality, especially in winter: from west to east, a typical Mediterranean climate changes to a continental one. Mountainous regions are usually windy and very cold - sometimes with snowfall. The peak of Mount Hermon is covered in snow most of the year and Jerusalem generally receives at least one snowfall each year. [ 164 ]Coastal cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa have a typical cold and rainy Mediterranean climate with long winters and very hot summers. In the extreme south, in the Gulf of Eilat , the climate is tropical dry.
In general, there is a dry season (April-October) and a rainy one (from October-November to April). From May to September, rains are rare in Israel. [ 166 ] [ 167 ] The highest percentage of rainfall is reached between mid-January and early March. The rainfall increases from south to north and from east to west.
With scarce water resources, Israel has developed several and varied water-saving technologies, including drip irrigation . [ 168 ] The Israelis also take advantage of considerable sunlight available for solar energy, making Israel the leading nation in per capita use of solar energy . [ 169 ]
Israel is regarded as the most advanced country in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. The country has ranked the highest in the region in the index to ease business of the World Bank , [ 170 ] and in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum . [ 31 ] It has the second largest number of startup companies in the world (after the United States ) and the largest number of NASDAQ publicly traded companies outside of North America . [ 171] In 2007, Israel ranked 44th highest forGross Domestic Productand 22ndhighest per capita gross domestic product(inpurchasing power parity) at $ 232.7 and $ 33.299 billion, respectively. . [ 172 ] In 2014 it was already the 39th economy by volume ofGDP. [ 173 ] In 2007, Israel was invited to join theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, [ 174 ] which promotes cooperation between countries that adhere to democratic principles and exploit the economies offree market . [ 175 ]
Despite limited natural resources, the intensive development of agriculture and the industrial sector over the past decades made Israel virtually self-sufficient in food production. Major imports to Israel, totaling $ 47.8 billion in 2006, are fossil fuels , raw materials and military equipment. [ 6 ]
The main exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals , software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds ; in 2006 Israeli exports reached 42.86 billion. [ 6 ] Israel is a world leader in water conservation and geothermal energy , [ 176 ] and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications, and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley . [ 177 ] [ 178 ]
Intel [ 179 ] and Microsoft [ 180 ] built their first foreign R&D centers in Israel. Also other multinational high-tech companies, such as IBM , Cisco Systems and Motorola , have opened technology centers in the country.
High-quality long- staple cotton is grown in Israel, and there are farms specializing in the farming of trout , carp and other fish. It also has a recognized fame in the field of fashion and as a tourist destination . Tourism, especially religious tourism, is another important industry in Israel, with a temperate climate, beaches, archaeological and historical sites, and unique geography, also drawing on tourists.
In 1998, Newsweek magazine ranked Tel Aviv among the ten most influential cities in the world for technology. Already in the 1990s, Israel proposed to the neighboring Arab world to transform the Middle East into one of the most important technological and financial centers in the world.
Since 1985, the currency of Israel has been the new shekel (שקל חדש; NIS; symbol: ₪). Its origin dates back to Mesopotamian times , where it was used as a unit of measurement, but it was not until the 1980s that the shekel replaced the pound as Israel's currency.
A new shekel is divided into 100 agorot (singular agora ). There are bills of 20, 50, 100 and 200 new shekalim. As for the coins, there are 1 new shekel, 2, 5 and 10 shekalim, and 10 and 50 agorot. The Bank of Israel is the institution in charge of issuing foreign currency. On its website you can consult a catalog of coins and banknotes since 1948.
It is allowed to enter Israel with an unlimited amount of foreign currency in cash, travelers checks, letters of credit, etc. Although most payments can be made in euros or dollars , the change will be delivered in new shekalim . To make currency exchanges you have to go to banks, exchange offices, post offices and some hotels.
Tourism is a fundamental industry in Israel. There, important archaeological centers of the Roman and Byzantine civilizations have access to the public .
Being located in the Holy Land offers a great variety of religious, historical and important archaeological sites. In addition, it has modern tourist centers on its beaches and regions for ecotourism . It is important to point out the growing importance of sun and beach tourism, located above all in the area of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Tel Aviv . In this area there are also numerous spas and spas.
Every year millions of Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims come to their holy places. In Israel it can be visited from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem , which is built on the place where according to the Bible Jesus was born, to the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Temple of the Book Museum in Jerusalem. In nazarethvisit the Basilica of the Annunciation, built on the site where the Archangel Gabriel appeared before Mary to announce the arrival of Jesus. In Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount, is the third most important site in Islam and occupies the place from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended into heaven. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the hill of Golgotha is one of the most sacred sites for Christendom as it marks the place of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jews come to pray at the Wailing Wall , the last remnant of the second Temple in Jerusalem .
Science, education and technology
Israel has the highest school life expectancy in Southwest Asia, and is along with Japan the second highest school life expectancy in the Asian continent (after South Korea ). [ 181 ] Israel also has the highest literacy rate in South West Asia, according to the United Nations. [ 182 ] The State Education Law, passed in 1953, established five types of schools: secular state, religious state, ultra-Orthodox, communal schools, and Arab schools. [ 183 ]
Education is compulsory in Israel for children between the ages of three and eighteen. [ 184 ] [ 185 ] Studies were divided into three levels - elementary school (grades 1-6), middle school (grades 7-9) and High school (10-12 degrees) - culminating in the certificate exams of the Bagrut . Core subjects such as mathematics , Torah , Hebrew language , Hebrew and general literature , English , history andCivics education are required to receive a Bagrut certificate. [ 186 ] In Arab, Christian, and Druze schools, the test on Torah studies is replaced by an test on Islam , Christianity, or Druze heritage , respectively. [ 187 ] There is an educational project, called Mano a Mano , which, in 2014, already had 5 public schools, in which Jewish children , Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs and Druze studied together as a way to promote peace and social inclusion . [188 ] [ 189 ] [ 190 ] [ 191 ] In 2003, more than half of all Israeli twelfth grade approved obtaining the registration certificate. [ 192 ]
The eight public universities in Israel are subsidized by the state. [ 186 ] [ 193 ] The Hebrew University of Jerusalem , the oldest university in Israel, home to the National Library of Israel , the largest repository of books on Jewish themes in the world. [ 194 ] In 2006, the Hebrew University was ranked 60th [ 195 ] and 119th [ 196 ] among the best universities in the world. Other major universities in the country include the Technion , the Weizmann Institute of SciencesThe University of Tel Aviv , the Bar Ilan University , the University of Haifa , and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev . Israel's seven research universities (excluding the Open University) have been ranked among the top 500 in the world. [ 197 ] Israel ranks third in the world with the number of citizens holding university degrees (20 percent of the population). [ 198 ] [ 199 ] During the 1990s, an influx of a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union(40 percent of whom are university graduates) have pushed Israel to stimulate the high-tech sector. [ 198 ]
Ten Israelis have won the Nobel Prize in Science. Among others, the biologists Avram Hershko and Aarón Ciechanover of the Technion shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry . The American-Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics . In 2005 Robert Aumann , from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , also won the Nobel Prize in Economics. [ 200 ] Israel leads the production of scientific publications per capitain the world, being one of the first states in said ranking; In a study carried out in 2006, it ranked third in the world, with 1,018 articles per year and for every 1 million people. [ 201 ] [ 202 ] also boasts one of the countries with more patents registered per capita . In 2003, Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli astronaut , to serve as the STS-107 specialist , on the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia mission .
The Israeli contributions to science and technology have been very significant, especially when considering its small size. Since its founding, Israel has devoted remarkable efforts to science and engineering . Israeli scientists have made relevant contributions to genetics , computer science , electronics , optics, and other high-tech industries. Israeli science is well known for its cutting edge military technology. Israel has also been a pioneer in advanced agricultural technology. Israel has a high reputation for theoretical physics and its developed medicine is also appreciated..
Israel ranks third in R&D spending , eighth in technology readiness (based on companies' R&D spending , creativity of its scientific community, number of personal computers, and Internet penetration rate) , eleventh in innovation, sixteenth in high-tech exports, and seventeenth in technological achievements on the Nation Master list of countries in the world by economic standards.
Israel is a small country, with a population of 8.3 million inhabitants (2015); of them, 80% are Jewish , and 17% Arab . There are 6.2 million Jews, 1.7 million Arabs, and 400,000 are Christian Arabs or Druze. [ 203 ] In the territories of Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank ) and East Jerusalem , in 2005 the population was 2.3 million. According to Israeli statistical data from the end of 2011, some 325,456 settlers live in the 125 recognized settlements in the West Bank (there are another 100 not officially recognized). According to data fromJerusalem Institute for Israel Studies in East Jerusalem 190,423 Israelis lived in late 2011. [ 204 ]
In September 2005, the Israeli authorities launched the Gaza Strip Disengagement Plan , which was now administered by the Palestinian National Authority . The process of withdrawal from the territory involved conflicts within Israeli society, due to the withdrawal of almost 8000 Jewish settlers living in the Gaza Strip, compared to a population of 1.4 million Palestinians.
In 1948, when the new state was born, the total population of Israel was 914,700, 156,000 of them non-Jews (mainly Arabs). Between 1948 and 1960 the Jewish immigrant population increased by 1.1 million people, emigrated from Muslim countries, fearing reprisals for the founding of the new State of Israel, such as Morocco (400,000), Iran (200,000), Algeria (150,000), Libya (150,000), Iraq (140,000), Tunisia (120,000), Yemen (60,000), Syria (35,000) and Lebanon (5,000). The meager Jewish community in Europe also emigrated to the new stateafter the Holocaust , less than a quarter of a million people. Other subsequent immigration flows have occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union , after which many Jews from Russia , Ukraine and Belarus decided to emigrate to Israel, as well as many Jews from Argentina after the serious economic crisis that this country suffered during the decade of 2000 . The Sephardic population in the State of Israel today is about 500,000 people.
The population is unevenly distributed throughout the territory, with the central region and the Mediterranean coast being the most populated, with rates of more than 300 inhabitants per km². In the south, the average does not exceed 55 inhabitants per km².
In 2013, life expectancy [ 205 ] was 83.60 years for women and 80 for men, the highest in the region. [ 206 ] Although it increased in number of years compared to previous years, in 2010 it ranked 9th out of 180 countries and in 2011 it ranked 11th among the countries with the highest life expectancy .
There is a double occupation of the territory: on the one hand the cities ( Jerusalem , Tel Aviv , Haifa , Beersheba and Eilat are the main ones), and on the other hand a rural occupation in the form of a kibbutz , an agricultural establishment with a form of exploitation of the land and communal coexistence.
|Religion in Israel in 2010 [ 207 ]|
|Judaism 81% Islam 14% Christianity 2% Drusism 2% Other 1%|
The State of Israel is the only country in the world where the majority of the population is followers of Judaism. Christianity and Islam also have a significant presence of believers among Israeli citizens. In addition, there are also other religious minorities such as the Druze and the Baha'is. Israel concentrates innumerable holy sites of the three great monotheistic religions and recognizes the religious freedom of all, allowing pilgrims from all over the world free access to the holy places.
According to a 2011 survey by the Israel Central Institute of Statistics, 75.3% of Israel's total population is made up of Jews ( 5,837,000 people). 20.5% are followers of Islam ( 1,587,000 people). The other religions represent 4.2% of the population (322,000 people).
There are three main religions practiced in Israel: Judaism (75%), Islam (16%), Christianity ( Catholic and Orthodox ) (2%), and Druze (2%). There are also some other minorities like Messianics , Baha'is and even Buddhists . The Israeli law guarantees explicitly equal rights to all citizens regardless of their religion or ethnic group. However, the law grants preferential treatment in certain aspects to those individuals who meet the criteria of the Law of Return., which is a controversial issue because the aforementioned law differs from the religious criterion on who fulfills the status of Jew. [ 209 ]
Being a predominantly Jewish State, the main festivals celebrated in the country belong to this confession: Purim , Pesach , Shavuot , Rosh Hashanah , Yom Kippur , Sukkot , Simchat Torah and Hanukkah ; other minor festivals are Tu Bishvat and Tisha b'Av .
Religious marriage and absence of civil marriage
Although the Israeli Ministry of the Interior recognizes civil marriages performed outside its borders, it does not exist within the territory and the only recognized marriage is religious, whatever the religion. In July 2011 the Knesset rejected a proposal to legalize civil marriage with 40 votes against and 17 in favor. [ 210 ] [ 211 ]
The culture of Israel is inseparable from the history of Judaism and the Jewish people that precede it. Israel's cultural diversity stems from the diversity of its population: Jews from around the world brought their cultural and religious traditions with them, creating a melting pot of customs and beliefs of Jewish culture. [ 212 ] Israel is the only country in the world where life revolves around the Hebrew calendar . Work and school holidays are determined by Jewish holidays , and the official day of rest is Saturday, Shabbat . [ 213 ]Israel's sizeable Arab minority has also left its mark on Israeli culture in such areas as architecture, [ 214 ] music, [ 215 ] and cooking. [ 216 ]
The Israeli literature is primarily poetry and prose written in Hebrew , as part of the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language since the mid-nineteenth century, although a small space of literature is published in other languages such as Arabic and English. By law, two copies of all printed materials published in Israel must be deposited in the National Library of Israel and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem . In 2001, the law was amended to include audio and video recordings as well as other non-print media. [ 217 ] In 2006, 85 percent of the 8,000 books brought into the library were in Hebrew. [ 218] TheWeek of the Book Hebrew(inHebrew:שבוע הספר) is celebrated in June with features book fairs, public readings and appearances by Israeli authors around the country. During the week, Israel's top literary award, theSapir Prize, is awarded. In1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnónshared theNobel Prize for Literaturewith the German Jewish authorNelly Sachs. [ 219 ] Writers such asAmos Oz,David Grossman,Abraham B. Yehoshua,Aharon Appelfeld,Meir Shalev or the poet Margalit Matitiahu (who writes in Hebrew and Ladino ), have been considered the main representatives of current Israeli literature. [ 220 ] [ 221 ]
Music and dance
The Israeli music contains a variety of influences from the Diaspora ; Yemeni music, Hasidic melodies, Arabic music, Greek music, jazz and pop rock are all part of the music scene, while making good use of elements of modern culture. [ 222 ] [ 223 ] The national folk songs, known as שירי ארץ ישראל ( Shirei Eretz Israel or "Songs of the Land of Israel" ), narrate the experiences of the pioneers in building the Jewish homeland, Eretz Israel . [ 224] Among the world-famous Israelis [ 225 ] is theIsrael Philharmonic Orchestra, which has been in business for more than seventy years and today performs more than two hundred concerts every year. [ 226 ] Israel has also produced many notorious musicians, some achieving international stardom. Noa,Uzi Hitman,Itzhak Perlman,Ofra HazaandPinchas Zukermanare some of theinternationally acclaimedIsraeli-bornmusicians; MayumanaorDana Internationalalso stand out. In another vein, Israel has participated in the Festival Song Contest nearly every year since 1973 , winning the competition four times ( 1978 , 1979 , 1998 and 2018 ) and twice hosted Jerusalem in the same [ 227 ] Eilat has hosted its own international music festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival , every summer since 1987. [ 228 ] , 2019 being Tel Aviv.
Also originally from Israel are some interpreters who are gaining great relevance today, such as Oren Lavie .
In Israel there is the national theater, Habimá, in Tel Aviv where there are Jewish-themed plays. Classics are also performed in Hebrew, whether they are dramas, comedies or musicals. There is also the Cámer theater, a complex of 4 rooms, created in 1970. In Haifa is the municipal theater, it represents both Israeli and international works, whether classical or modern. [ 229 ]
Continuing the tradition of Yiddish theater in Eastern Europe , Israel maintains a vibrant scene. [ Citation needed ] Founded in 1918 , the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv is the oldest repertory theater company and national theater. [ 230 ]
Tel Aviv , Haifa , Herzliya and Jerusalem have the most important art museums , and many towns and kibbutz have small museums. The Israel Museum in its capital, Jerusalem , is one of the most important cultural institutions in Israel, [ 231 ] housing the Dead Sea manuscripts [ 232 ] along with an extensive collection of popular and religious Jewish art and art. European. [ 231 ] The National Holocaust Museum , Yad Vashem, is the world's largest archive of archives related to information on the Holocaust. [ 233 ] The Beth Hatefutsoth (Diaspora Museum), on the campus of Tel Aviv University , is an interactive museum dedicated to the history of Jewish communities around the world. [ 234 ] Aside from the main museums in large cities, there are very high quality art spaces in many cities and kibbutz. Mishkan Le'Omanut at Kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad is the largest art museum in the north of the country. [ 235 ]
Various sports are commonly practiced in Israel: from swimming , soccer , basketball and tennis , to gymnastics , hockey , rugby , judo , chess , athletics , volleyball and handball . To date, Israel has won six Olympic medals since its first victory in 1992 , including a gold medal in windsurfing at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games . [ 236 ]
Although soccer and basketball are the most popular sports, Israel has been successful in other sports as well, such as handball and track and field . It is also worth mentioning that Israel had its first participation in the World Baseball Classic (world event of this sport) in 2017, having surprising achievements such as the undefeated classification to the 2nd round, thus also ensuring its participation in the next tournament in 2021.
With 50,000 licensed divers, Israel has the world's highest rate of divers per capita. [ citation needed ] An incentive for diving is provided by the fascinating tropical marine life in the Red Sea. Other popular water sports include windsurfing, water skiing and sailing, as well as beach sports such as beach volleyball and "rackets", a locally developed game that is a kind of "beach ping pong".
Despite being geographically located in Asia, Israel participates in international sports competitions always associated with European federations ( UEFA , EHF ) or European competitions ( Eurobasket ). Probably the most internationally known Israeli club is Maccabi Tel Aviv , which has won five European basketball titles (including two Euroleague in 2004 and 2005). [ 237 ] This is due to the refusal of the Arab countries, along with some Africans and Asians, to participate with Israel in sporting events. FIFA, since the 1970 World Cup, decided to include Israel in UEFA to prevent the Arab countries from withdrawing en masse. [ 238]
Beersheba has become a national chess center and home to many chess champions from the former Soviet Union . The city hosted the World Champion chess team in 2005, and chess is taught in kindergartens in the city. [ 239 ] Two years later, in 2007, Boris Abramovich Gelfand took second place at the World Chess Championship . [ 240 ]
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