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(PD) Map: CIA World Factbook
Map of Israel

The State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medinat Yisra'el) is a country in the Middle East region, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the west, Egypt on the south-west, Jordan on the east, Syria on the northeast, and Lebanon on the north. Israel's capital is Jerusalem. Israel's population is 7,291,200[1], of which 75.8 percent are Jews and 19.9 percent are Muslim and Christian Arabs.[2]. Close to half the population of Israel lives in the Gush Dan metropolitan area around the coastal city of Tel Aviv. Other major urban centers are around the cities of Jerusalem and Haifa. Israel's total land area is 20,330 square kilometers.

See also: State of Israel

Occupied territories

The "Occupied Territories" are essentially the Gaza strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. These are parts of Jordan (i.e., the West Bank and East Jerusalem) and Egypt (i.e., Gaza) that were occupied by the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and are now under the civil authority of the Palestinian Authority subject to Israeli military control. East Jerusalem's status is less clear than that of the West Bank and Gaza. This specific term implies a belief that the Israeli actions are illegal, with which the State of Israel does not agree.

The West Bank and East Jerusalem, but not Gaza, contain Israeli civilians, as well as security forces.


The word "Israel" was the name given to the Biblical Jacob after wrestling with an angel (Genesis 32). It was commonly used to denote the Jewish people in general. The name was also the name of the Jewish people, the northern kingdom of the Hebrews (c. 1000-721 BC), and is also sometimes uses as a first name.


For more information, see: State of Israel.

Israel declared its independence on Friday, May 14, 1948 following the United Nations (UN) Partition Plan that had been adopted by the UN's General Assembly on November 29, 1947.


  1. CBS Israel: The statistical data does not contain non-citizen residents.
  2. CBS Israel: