SPAMfighter information about
 

Israel

The data on this page is obtained from The World Factbook.
 Communications information 
SPAMfighters: 25,254
Internet users: 3.7 million (2006)
Internet hosts: 1,251,881 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 21 (2000)
Internet country code: .il
Telephones - main lines in use: 2,936,300 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 7.757 million (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East although not the largest

domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital

international: country code - 972; 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 23, FM 15, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios: 3.07 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 17 (plus 36 low-power repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 1.69 million (1997)
 Geographical information 
Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Geographic coordinates: 31 30 N, 34 45 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 20,770 sq km

land: 20,330 sq km

water: 440 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: total: 1,017 km

border countries: Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km
Coastline: 273 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
Terrain: Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m

highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m
Natural resources: timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
Land use: arable land: 15.45%

permanent crops: 3.88%

other: 80.67% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,940 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues: limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: there are 242 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the West Bank, 42 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, 0 in the Gaza Strip, and 29 in East Jerusalem (August 2005 est.); Sea of Galilee is an important freshwater source
 People information 
Population: 6,352,117

note: includes about 187,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, about 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and fewer than 177,000 in East Jerusalem (July 2006 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.3% (male 855,054/female 815,619)

15-64 years: 63.9% (male 2,044,135/female 2,016,647)

65 years and over: 9.8% (male 266,671/female 353,991) (2006 est.)
Median age: total: 29.6 years

male: 28.8 years

female: 30.5 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.18% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 17.97 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 6.18 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.61 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.46 years

male: 77.33 years

female: 81.7 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.41 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun: Israeli(s)

adjective: Israeli
Ethnic groups: Jewish 76.4% (of which Israel-born 67.1%, Europe/America-born 22.6%, Africa-born 5.9%, Asia-born 4.2%), non-Jewish 23.6% (mostly Arab) (2004)
Religions: Jewish 76.4%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.7%, other Christian 0.4%, Druze 1.6%, unspecified 3.9% (2004)
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.4%

male: 97.3%

female: 93.6% (2003 est.)
 Governmental information 
Country name: conventional long form: State of Israel

conventional short form: Israel

local long form: Medinat Yisra´el

local short form: Yisra´el
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Jerusalem; note - Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the US, like nearly all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv

geographic coordinates: 32 05 N, 34 48 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends the Sunday between the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
Administrative divisions: 6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv
Independence: 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May
Constitution: no formal constitution; some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws of the parliament (Knesset), and the Israeli citizenship law
Legal system: mixture of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985, Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Moshe KATZAV (since 31 July 2000)

head of government: Prime Minister Ehud OLMERT (since May 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Tzipora "Tzipi" LIVNI (since May 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset

elections: president is largely a ceremonial role and is elected by the Knesset for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held 31 July 2000 (next to be held mid-2007); following legislative elections, the president assigns a Knesset member - traditionally the leader of the largest party - the task of forming a governing coalition

election results: Moshe KATZAV elected president by the 120-member Knesset with a total of 60 votes, other candidate, Shimon PERES, received 57 votes (there were three abstentions); Ariel SHARON continued as prime minister after Likud Party victory in January 2003 Knesset elections; Likud won 38 seats and then formed coalition government with Shinui, the National Religious Party, and the National Union; controversy surrounding SHARON´s disengagement plan ultimately led to the formation of a Likud-Labor-United Torah Judaism (UTJ) coalition government in January 2005
Legislative branch: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 29 March 2006 (next scheduled to be held in 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Kadima 29, Labor 19, Likud 12, SHAS 12, Yisrael Beiteinu 11, NU/NRP 9, GIL 7, Torah and Shabbat Judaism 6, Meretz-YAHAD 5, United Arab List 4, Balad 3, HADASH 3
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices appointed by Judicial Selection Committee - made up of all three branches of the government; mandatory retirement age is 70)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH) [Muhammad BARAKA]; GIL (Pensioners) [Rafael EITAN]; Kadima [Ehud OLMERT]; Labor Party [Amir PERETZ]; Likud Party [Binyamin NETANYAHU]; Meretz-YAHAD [Yossi BEILIN]; National Democratic Assembly (Balad) [Azmi BISHARA]; National Union (NU)/National Religious Party (NRP) [Binyamin ELON]; SHAS [Eliyahu YISHAI]; Torah and Shabbat Judaism [Yaakov LITZMAN]; United Arab List [Ibrahim SARSOUR]; Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]; Yisrael Ba´Aliya (merged with Likud)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Israeli nationalists advocating Jewish settlement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Peace Now supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Yesha (settler) Council promotes settler interests and opposes territorial compromise; B´Tselem monitors human rights abuses
International organization participation: BIS, BSEC (observer), CERN (observer), EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, OAS (observer), OPCW (signatory), OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Salai MERIDOR

chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500

FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Richard H. JONES

embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63903

mailing address: PSC 98, Box 29, APO AE 09830

telephone: [972] (3) 519-7575

FAX: [972] (3) 516-4390

consulate(s) general: Jerusalem; note - an independent US mission, established in 1928, whose members are not accredited to a foreign government
Flag description: white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag
 Economical information 
Economy - overview: Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain, but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government´s external debt is owed to the US, which is its major source of economic and military aid. The bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict; difficulties in the high-technology, construction, and tourist sectors; and fiscal austerity in the face of growing inflation led to small declines in GDP in 2001 and 2002. The economy rebounded in 2003 and 2004, growing at a 4% rate each year, as the government tightened fiscal policy and implemented structural reforms to boost competition and efficiency in the markets. In 2005, rising consumer confidence, tourism, and foreign direct investment - as well as higher demand for Israeli exports - boosted GDP by 4.7%.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $156.9 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $114.3 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $25,000 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.6%

industry: 31.7%

services: 65.7% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 2.42 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture, forestry, and fishing 2.6%, manufacturing 20.2%, construction 7.5%, commerce 12.8%, transport, storage, and communications 6.2%, finance and business 13.1%, personal and other services 6.4%, public services 31.2% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 9% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 21% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.4%

highest 10%: 28.3% (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $43.82 billion

expenditures: $58.04 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
Industries: high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metals products, chemical products, plastics, diamond cutting, textiles, footwear
Industrial production growth rate: 2.8% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 44.24 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 99.9%

hydro: 0.1%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 39.67 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 1.47 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 2,740 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption: 270,100 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production: 200 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 200 million cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance: $2.385 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $40.14 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
Exports - partners: US 36.5%, Belgium 8.7%, Hong Kong 5.6% (2005)
Imports: $43.19 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 13.4%, Belgium 10.1%, Germany 6.4%, UK 5.7%, Switzerland 5.5%, China 4.2% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $28.06 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $75.55 billion (2005 est.)
Currency (code): new Israeli shekel (ILS); note - NIS is the currency abbreviation; ILS is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code for the NIS
Currency code: ILS
Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.4877 (2005), 4.482 (2004), 4.5541 (2003), 4.7378 (2002), 4.2057 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 Transportations information 
Airports: 53 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 30

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 6 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 23

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 20 (2006)
Heliports: 3 (2006)
Pipelines: gas 193 km; oil 442 km; refined products 261 km (2006)
Railways: total: 853 km

standard gauge: 853 km 1.435-m gauge (2005)
Roadways: total: 17,364 km

paved: 17,364 km (including 126 km of expressways) (2004)
Merchant marine: total: 18 ships (1000 GRT or over) 716,382 GRT/845,053 DWT

by type: cargo 2, container 16

registered in other countries: 51 (Bahamas 1, Bermuda 3, Cyprus 3, Honduras 1, Liberia 5, Malta 23, Panama 6, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Slovakia 7) (2006)
Ports and terminals: Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa
 Military information 
Military branches: Israel Defense Forces (IDF): Army Headquarters, Israel Navy, Israeli Air and Space Force (ISAF, includes air defense forces); historically there have been no separate Israeli military services (2005)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druzes) and voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript service obligation - 36 months for men, 21 months for women (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 17-49: 1,492,125

females age 17-49: 1,443,916 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 17-49: 1,255,902

females age 17-49: 1,212,394 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 53,760

females: 51,293 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $9.45 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 7.7% (2005 est.)
 Information about transnational issues 
Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a "seam line" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew its settlers and military from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the West Bank in August 2005; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied (Lebanon claims the Shab´a Farms area of Golan Heights); since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) headquartered in Jerusalem monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 276,000 (Arab villagers displaced from homes in northern Israel) (2005)
Illicit drugs: increasingly concerned about cocaine and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center

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