20,770 sq km (8,019 sq mi)
Population (2010 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Jerusalem - 695,500; note: Jerusalem is not recognized as capital by the UN and most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv
Other large cities:
Tel Aviv - 365,300; Haifa - 280,200
Hebrew (official), Arabic, English
75.4% Jewish, 20.6% Arab, 4% other
Judaism 77%, Islam 16%, Christian 2%, other 2%
GMT+2; Daylight Savings Time: GMT+3, starts on April 1, ends on the Saturday between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
AC 230/50Hz; unique to Israel plugs with three pins in triangular formation are used
Israel is a country in Western Asia located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon and Syria to the north, the Palestine National Authority (West Bank) and Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the south and southwest. Israel has a short coastline at the Red Sea in the south.
Despite its relatively small size, Israel has a variety of geographical features and its terrain consists of plains, mountains, desert, and coast. A hilly, fertile region of Galilee occupies the north of the country. Mediterranean coast is dominated by the fertile Plain of Sharon and it's home to seventy percent of the Israeli's population. Inland are central highlands bordered by the Jordan Rift Valley to the east.
More than a half of country's land area is covered by Nagrev Desert that dominates the south. North of the desert, at the border with Jordan, is the Dead Sea - the lowest point on Earth (at -417 m / -1,368 ft altitude).
The highest mountain, Mount Hermon, at 2,224 meters (7,297 ft), is located in the Israeli-occupied territory of Golan Heights in the northeast, but this territory is not internationally recognized as part of Israel. Other than Golan Heights, Israeli's highest point is Mount Meron at 1,208 meters (3,963 ft) in the north, situated west of Golan Heights.