Israel

Israel is a country in the Levant region of the Middle East, in Western Asia by the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon and Syria to the north, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the south and the Mediterranean to the west. Israel was established as a state in 1948, becoming the first and only predominantly Jewish state in the modern era. Israel has a population of nearly 9 million (2018). Of these 9 million, approximately 75% are Jewish, 20% are Arab, and 5% belong to other ethnic minorities. The most widely spoken languages in the country are Hebrew and Arabic, though Russian, French, and English are widely spoken as well. Israel is quite small geographically - its territory covers about 21,000 square kilometers (8,100 square miles). Despite its size, its topography is varied, ranging from a dry desert climate to mountains and forests. Israel has four distinct geographic regions: the Negev Desert, the Great Rift Valley, the Mediterranean coastal valley, and the mountainous regions in the north. The Dead Sea, the lowest dry-land point on Earth, is on the border between Israel and Jordan. Jerusalem, Israel’s declared though internationally-disputed capital, houses the country’s government buildings. Israel is a democratic republic with a 120-seat parliament (called the Knesset), a prime minister who is head of government and a president whose job is largely ceremonial. Upon its establishment Israel declared itself both Jewish and Democratic. Israel was established in order to be a “safe haven” for the Jewish people. In the years subsequent to its establishment it received an influx of Jewish immigrants and refugees from war-torn Europe and various countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Though originally established as a state with socialist values, the right-winged Likud party has now been in power for over forty years, since former prime minister Menahem Begin took office in 1977. The judicial system in Israel is three-tiered, with the Supreme Court being the top-standing authority on most cases. Religious courts have complete jurisdiction over annulment of marriages. Israel started off as an isolated entity in the predominantly Arab-Muslim Middle East. In 1979, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt, and in 1994 it signed one with Jordan. Though ties between Israel and much of the Arab world remain hostile, its relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia have been improving in recent years as the common Iranian threat improves cooperation between the countries. The United States is Israel’s strongest ally. Relations between the two countries have remained relatively constant since Israel’s establishment, with both countries prioritizing the relationship regardless of which administrations are in office. Israel has been in an ongoing conflict with its Palestinian neighbors for decades. It spends a large proportion of its budget on security and defense, and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) is the largest and strongest military in the Middle East. Israel has a mandatory military draft for most 18-year-old Israeli men and women. Israel has earned itself the nickname “Startup nation” due to the multitude of high-tech companies and scientific startups within its borders.`
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Comptroller: Land Authority doesn't have a plan

The ILA manages some 93% of Israeli public lands, and is in charge of authorizing the transfer of land rights, rezoning land, and providing permits for building changes.

18/05/2021

Comptroller report: Israel must reduce competition in food industry

Israel's food market is over-concentrated in comparison with other markets around the world.

18/05/2021

Rabbinical courts must improve waiting times says state comptroller

Several courts significantly exceeding targets for average waiting times for child support, child custody, Rabbinical Courts Administration digital services insufficient.

Top, from left: Gene Simmons, Sherry Lansing, Mickael Bublé. Bottom, from left: Meghan McCain

Over 130 celebs call on influencers to stop Gaza violence misinformation

“We call on our colleagues & friends in the entertainment community to stop posting misinformation & one-sided narratives that only work to inflame the conflict instead of bringing about peace."

State of emergency in Lod extended amid riots; Arab work sector strikes

The violence continued across Israel on Monday as police, as well as Fire and Rescue Services, struggled to respond to the volume of incidents.

By ZACHARY KEYSER , MAARIV ONLINE
18/05/2021

With Iranian support, drones are becoming a larger threat to Israel -analysis

Iran has pioneered drones by copying US drones, such as the Predator or Sentinel. It has also copied other drone models it has seen around the world.

IDF preps for 'intensive night' of Gaza airstrikes as two Thai workers killed

At least 10 civilians were wounded, four of them seriously following a barrage of over 50 mortars which hit the Eshkol Regional Council.

Blinken discusses Gaza in calls with Qatari, Egyptian, Saudi counterparts

The truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have so far offered no sign of progress.

By REUTERS
17/05/2021

Mansour Abbas visits Lod, calls for calm amid Arab-Jewish violence

After calling for calm, Abbas also indicated that some of the rioters were not residents of Lod.

IDF is undermining trust with media and it will hurt Israel - comment

Was the deception brilliant? Yes. Did it come at a price? Yes.

17/05/2021
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