Following World War II, Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948, and Israel subsequently defeated the Arab armies in a series of wars that did not end deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel has occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, Israel conducted bilateral negotiations with Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement with each. Israel and Palestinian officials on 13 September 1993 signed a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords"), enshrining the idea of a two-state solution to their conflict and guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. The parties achieved six additional significant interim agreements between 1994 and 1999 aimed at creating the conditions for a two-state solution, but most were never fully realized. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
Progress toward a final status agreement with the Palestinians was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between 2001 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip. The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 temporarily froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon from July-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip from December 2008-January 2009. In November 2012, Israel engaged in a seven-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Direct talks with the Palestinians most recently launched in July 2013 but were suspended in April 2014. The talks represented the fourth concerted effort to resolve final status issues between the sides since they were first discussed at Camp David in 2000. Three months later HAMAS and other militant groups launched rockets into Israel, which led to a 51-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza.



Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon

Geographic coordinates

31 30 N, 34 45 E

Map references

Middle East


total: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than New Jersey

Land boundaries

total: 1,068 km
border countries (6): Egypt 208 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 307 km, Lebanon 81 km, Syria 83 km, West Bank 330 km


273 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation


temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas


Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley


mean elevation: 508 m
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

agricultural land: 23.8%
arable land 13.7%; permanent crops 3.8%; permanent pasture 6.3%
forest: 7.1%
other: 69.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2,250 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes

Environment - current issues

limited arable land and natural freshwater 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, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) is an important freshwater source; the Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world (after Lake Assal in Djibouti); in 2014, there were 423 settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories - 42 settlements in the Golan Heights, 381 sites in the occupied Palestinian territories to include 212 settlements and 134 outposts in the West Bank, and 35 settlements in East Jerusalem; there are no Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip because all were evacuated in 2005 (2014 est.)

People and Society


8,174,527 (includes populations of the Golan Heights of Golan Sub-District and also East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967) (July 2016 est.)
note: approximately 21,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2015); approximately 201,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2014)


noun: Israeli(s)
adjective: Israeli

Ethnic groups

Jewish 74.8% (of which Israel-born 75.6%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 16.6%, Africa-born 4.9%, Asia-born 2.9%), non-Jewish 25.2% (mostly Arab) (2015 est.)


Hebrew (official), Arabic (used officially for Arab minority), English (most commonly used foreign language)


Jewish 74.8%, Muslim 17.6%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 4% (2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 27.73% (male 1,159,980/female 1,106,946)
15-24 years: 15.52% (male 648,199/female 620,218)
25-54 years: 37.15% (male 1,552,754/female 1,484,059)
55-64 years: 8.51% (male 340,601/female 355,382)
65 years and over: 11.09% (male 405,511/female 500,877) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 64.1%
youth dependency ratio: 45.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 18.4%
potential support ratio: 5.4% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 29.7 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 30.4 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.53% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

18.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated in and around Tel-Aviv, as well as around the Sea of Galilee; the south remains sparsely populated with the exception of the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba


urban population: 92.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.37% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Tel Aviv-Yafo 3.608 million; Haifa 1.097 million; JERUSALEM (proclaimed capital) 839,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.4 years
male: 80.6 years
female: 84.4 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.66 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

7.8% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

3.34 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

3.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate

25.8% (2014)

Education expenditures

5.9% of GDP (2013)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.7%
female: 96.8% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.3 (2011 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 10.6%
male: 10.1%
female: 11.1% (2014 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: State of Israel
conventional short form: Israel
local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
local short form: Yisra'el
etymology: named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name "Israel" ("He who struggles with God") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel

Government type

parliamentary democracy


name: Jerusalem: note - while Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, the international community does not recognize it as such; the US, like all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv-Yafo
geographic coordinates: 31 46 N, 35 14 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, Friday before the last Sunday in March; ends the last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv


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


no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled mostly by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended); Basic Laws amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious laws

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew acceptance of International Criminal Court jurisdiction in 2002


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Israel
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but naturalized citizens are not allowed to maintain dual citizenship
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization
note: Israeli law (Law of Return, 5 July 1950) provides for the granting of citizenship to any Jew - defined as a person being born to a Jewish mother or having converted to Judaism while renouncing any other religion - who immigrates to and expresses a desire to settle in Israel on the basis of the Right of aliyah; the 1970 amendment of this act extended the right to family members including the spouse of a Jew, any child or grandchild, and the spouses of children and grandchildren


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Reuven RIVLIN (since 27 July 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 31 March 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Knesset for a 7-year term (limited to 1 term); election last held on 10 June 2014 (next to be held in 2021 but can be called earlier); following legislative elections, the president, in consultation with party leaders, tasks a Knesset member (usually the member of the largest party) with forming a government
election results: Reuven RIVLIN elected president in second round; Knesset vote - Reuven RIVLIN (Likud) 63, Meir SHEETRIT (The Movement) 53 , other/invalid 4

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 March 2015 (next to be held in 2019 but can be called earlier)
election results: percent of vote by party - Likud 23.4%, Zionist Camp 18.7%, Joint List 10.6%, Yesh Atid 8.8%, Kulanu 7.5%, The Jewish Home 6.7%, Shas, 5.7%, Yisrael Beitenu 5.1%, UTJ 5.0%, Meretz 3.9%, Yachad 3.0%, other 1.6%; seats by party - Likud 30, Zionist Camp 24, Joint List 13, Yesh Atid 11, Kulanu 10, The Jewish Home 8, Shas 7, Yisrael Beitenu 6, UTJ 6, Meretz 5

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 14 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Judicial Selection Committee consisting of 3 Supreme Court judges, 2 Cabinet members including the Minister of Justice as chairman, 2 Knesset members, and 2 representatives from the Israel Bar Association; judges can serve up to mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: district and magistrate courts; national and regional labor courts; special and religious courts

Political parties and leaders

Balad [Jamal ZAHALKA]
Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH) [ODEH]
Kulanu [Moshe KAHLON]
Labor [Yitzhak HERZOG]
Likud [Binyamin NETANYAHU]
Meretz [Zehava GALON]
Tekumah/National Union (Ichud Leumi) [Uri ARIEL]
The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) [Naftali BENNETT]
The Movement (Hatnuah) [Tzipora "Tzipi" LIVNI]
United Arab List-Ta'al [Masud GANAIM]
United Torah Judaism or UTJ [Yaakov LITZMAN] (an alliance of three parties)
Yesh Atid [Yair LAPID]
Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Breaking the Silence [Yehuda SHAUL, executive director] collects testimonies from soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
B'Tselem [Hagai EL-AD, executive director] monitors human rights abuses
Peace Now [Yariv OPPENHEIMER, secretary general] supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
YESHA Council [Avi ROEHD, chairman] promotes settler interests and opposes territorial compromise

International organization participation

BIS, BSEC (observer), CE (observer), CERN, CICA, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW (signatory), OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ron DERMER (since 3 December 2013)
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 Daniel B. SHAPIRO (since 29 September 2011)
embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 6343229
telephone: [972] (3) 519-7475
FAX: [972] (3) 516-4390
consulate(s) general:

Flag description

white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Star of David or Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag; the basic design resembles a traditional Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), which is white with blue stripes; the hexagram as a Jewish symbol dates back to medieval times

National symbol(s)

Star of David (Magen David), menorah (seven-branched lampstand); national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Hatikvah" (The Hope)
lyrics/music: Naftali Herz IMBER/traditional, arranged by Samuel COHEN
note: adopted 2004, unofficial since 1948; used as the anthem of the Zionist movement since 1897; the 1888 arrangement by Samuel COHEN is thought to be based on the Romanian folk song "Carul cu boi" (The Ox Driven Cart)


Economy - overview

Israel has a technologically advanced free market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Israel usually posts

Between 2004 and 2013, growth averaged nearly 5% per year, led by exports. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals, following years of prudent fiscal policy and

Slowing domestic and international demand and decreased investment resulting from Israel’s uncertain security situation reduced GDP growth to an average of roughly 2.6% per year during 2014-16. Natural gas fields discovered off Israel's coast since 2009 h

Income inequality and high housing and commodity prices continue to be a concern for many Israelis. Israel's income inequality and poverty rates are among the highest of OECD countries, and there is a broad perception among the public that a small number

In the long term, Israel faces structural issues, including low labor participation rates for its fastest growing social segments - the ultraorthodox and Arab-Israeli communities. Also, Israel's progressive, globally competitive, knowledge-based technolog

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$297 billion (2016 est.)
$289 billion (2015 est.)
$281.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$311.7 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

2.8% (2016 est.)
2.5% (2015 est.)
3.2% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$34,800 (2016 est.)
$34,500 (2015 est.)
$34,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

22.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 55.6%
government consumption: 22.2%
investment in fixed capital: 19.1%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 29.1%
imports of goods and services: -27% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 27.3%
services: 69% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products


high-technology products (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, met

Industrial production growth rate

2.6% (2016 est.)

Labor force

3.927 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 17.3%
services: 81.6% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

5% (2016 est.)
5.3% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 31.3% (2010)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

42.8 (2013)
39.2 (2008)


revenues: $80.75 billion
expenditures: $88.4 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

63.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
63.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.5% (2016 est.)
-0.6% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

0.1% (15 December 2015)
0.25% (31 December 2014)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

3.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.46% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$73.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$63.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$246 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$155.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$233.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$211.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$243.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$200.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$203.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

$9.541 billion (2016 est.)
$13.89 billion (2015 est.)


$51.61 billion (2016 est.)
$56.29 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel

Exports - partners

US 27.5%, Hong Kong 8%, UK 6.1%, China 4.9% (2015)


$57.9 billion (2016 est.)
$59.49 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods

Imports - partners

US 13%, China 9.3%, Switzerland 7.1%, Germany 6.1%, Belgium 5.3%, Italy 4% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$97.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$90.58 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$91.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$89.36 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$113.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$104.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$95.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$89.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

new Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -
3.871 (2016 est.)
3.8869 (2015 est.)
3.8869 (2014 est.)
3.5779 (2013 est.)
3.86 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

57 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

59.83 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

4.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

16.25 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

97.4% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

2.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production

390 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

285,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

13.95 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

309,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

224,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

144,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

68,920 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

7.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

7.98 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

2.605 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports

80 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

199 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

62.5 million Mt (2014 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3.412 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 10.57 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 131 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East
domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital; competition among both fixed-line and mobile cellular providers results in good coverage countrywide
international: country code - 972; submarine cables provide links to Europe, Cyprus, and parts of the Middle East; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2015)

Broadcast media

state broadcasting network, operated by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), broadcasts on 2 channels, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic; 5 commercial channels including a channel broadcasting in Russian, a channel broadcasting Knesset proceedings (2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 6.35 million
percent of population: 78.9% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 60
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,064,478
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 758,633,996 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

4X (2016)


47 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 29
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 14 (2013)


3 (2013)


gas 763 km; oil 442 km; refined products 261 km (2013)


total: 1,250 km
standard gauge: 1,250 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)


total: 18,566 km
paved: 18,566 km (includes 449 km of expressways) (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 8
by type: cargo 1, container 7
registered in other countries: 48 (Bermuda 3, Georgia 1, Honduras 1, Liberia 34, Malta 3, Moldova 2, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa
container port(s) TEUs): Ashdod (1,176,000), Haifa (1,238,000)


Military branches

Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Naval Force (IN), Israel Air Force (IAF) (2010)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druze) military service; 17 years of age for voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 32 months for enlisted men and 24 months for enlisted women (varies based on military occupation), 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9 years service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), age 24 (women) (2015)

Military expenditures

5.58% of GDP (2014)
5.53% of GDP (2013)
5.69% of GDP (2012)
5.87% of GDP (2011)
5.69% of GDP (2010)

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 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

refugees (country of origin): 31,708 (Eritrea); 6,333 (Sudan) (2015)
stateless persons: 15 (2015)

Illicit drugs

increasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center