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.`

A general view of the pool at the Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat, Israel, June 12, 2018
Hotels returning to normal: High occupancy in Eilat over Shavuot

"In Eilat there is the highest rate of domestic tourism - 90%. For hotels based also on foreign tourism, the recovery will take a long time."

New legislation to increase technological cooperation between Israel, US

The legislation would enhance collaboration on the research and development of technology used for national defense.

GDP contracted by 7.1% in first quarter, sharpest drop in 20 years

The dramatic drop comes after GDP expanded by 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

3,500-year-old plate depicting power struggle in ancient Negev discovered

Imri Elia, a resident of Kibbutz Niri, found the small engraved clay plate featuring two human figures near Tel Jemmeh.

Undercover agent helps police arrest over 60 arms, drug traffickers, May 25, 2020
Undercover agent helps police arrest over 60 arms, drug traffickers

During the operation, the agent bought 5 M-16 assault rifles, 3 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 4 sidearms and 3 explosives, as well as 10 kilograms of cocaine and over a kilogram of heroin

Despite COVID-19, pivotal pancreatic cancer study in Israel hits benchmark

Overall survival rate increased from 11.1 months to 19.9 in some trials. The 613 in CPI-613 stands for the 613 commandments of the Torah.

Erdogan: We won't allow Palestinian lands to be offered to anyone else

"I would like to reiterate that Al Quds Al-Sharif, the holy site of three religions and our first Kiblah, is a red line for all Muslims worldwide," Erdogan said.

Six Day War
NYC lawmaker: Being a ‘Republican in New York’ is like being IDF soldiers

A New York City lawmaker told a Jewish audience that she knows what it was like for Israeli soldiers to fight in the Six Day War because she’s “a Republican in New York City.”

Argentines cheer soccer goal by Argentine-Israeli in lieu of local sports

Argentina’s soccer fans are missing the most popular sport in the country, under a total lockdown that bans sports events.

Roger Waters – getting a taste of his own medicine

Apparently, the abused has had enough of the abuser.

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