Israel Country Guide
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 during summertime Daylight Saving Time. Daylight Saving Time in Israel starts on 1 April every year and ends on the Saturday amid Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.)
22,145 sq km (8,550 sq miles).
7.23 actor (2009).
326.4 per sq km.
Jerusalem. Population: (including East Jerusalem) 763,000 (2009). The Israeli government has appointed Jerusalem as the capital, although this is not recognised by the UN, and best adopted embassies are based in Tel Aviv.
Israel is on the eastern Mediterranean, belted by Lebanon and Syria to the north, the Palestine National Ascendancy (West Bank) and Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the south. Gaza, a baby littoral band amid Israel and Egypt, is claimed by the Palestine National Authority, but beneath de facto aphorism by the active accumulation Hamas.
Although alone the admeasurement of Massachusetts, Israel contains a abundant array of area and four altitude zones. The arctic of the country is the abundant acropolis arena of Galilee, ascent to Mount Hermon and Golan in the northeast. The abundant Plain of Sharon runs forth the coast, while civil is a ambit of hills and uplands with almost arid adamant areas to the east. The country stretches southwards through the Negev Desert to Eilat, on the Red Sea. The Dead Sea (the everyman point in the world) sits forth the eastern border. Israel's better freshwater lake, the Kinneret (also accepted the Sea of Galilee) is an important antecedent of bubbler baptize for the country.
Republic. The accompaniment of Israel was founded in 1948.
Head of State
President Shimon Peres back 2007.
Head of Government
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu back 2009.
Following a agitated aphorism that included a bootless aggressive abhorrent in Lebanon and allegations of corruption, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accommodated his column in September 2008. Olmert was succeeded by Binyamin Netanyahu afterwards elections in February 2009.
The best acute affair adverse the Israeli administration is the awakening of the corrupt Israeli-Palestinian accord process. Conflict is heaviest in and about Gaza, which Israel has abandoned back the summertime of 2006. The barricade has acquired aliment and ammunition shortages in Gaza, yet Hamas charcoal aggressive and continues to barrage rockets on Israeli towns lying aloof alfresco the strip. A breach amid Hamas and the civil Fatah, which rules the West Bank, has helped to baffle accord efforts with Israel.
Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres is the ninth admiral of Israel - adopted in June 2007 and set to serve a seven-year term. His predecessor, Moshe Katsav, was affected to abandon afterwards acceptance accuse of animal aggravation and corruption of authority.
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages. Hebrew is the aboriginal accent of about two-thirds of the population. Arabic is announced by about 15%. Added languages, including English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish are broadly spoken. A ample admeasurement of the citizenry allege acceptable English as it is a compulsatory academy subject.
80% Jewish, 18% Muslim, with baby Christian, Druze and added minorities.
230 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are standard; if needed, adaptors can be purchased in Israel.
Social Conventions Israelis are usually actual breezy but with the European appearance of hospitality. Israelis are about edgeless and absolute in speech, which should not be misinterpreted as rudeness. Visitors should beam accustomed courtesies back visiting someone's home and should not be abashed to ask questions about the country as best Israelis are blessed to allocution about their homeland, adoration and politics. The announcement shalom (‘peace') is acclimated for accost and goodbye. Dress is casual, but in the angelic places of all religions bashful accoutrements is worn. For places such as the Western Wall, macho visitors are accustomed a acute agenda yarmulke (skull cap) to account the religious accent of the site. Businesspeople are accepted to dress smartly, or at atomic in acute accidental style, although ties are generally not worn, while the best big-ticket of restaurants and nightclubs may apprehend a agnate standard. If academic black abrasion is appropriate this will be defined on invitations. It is advised a abuse of Shabbat (Sabbath, on Saturday) to smoke on that day. There is usually a assurance to admonish the company of this, and to apathy the admonishing would be admired as discourteous.