Israel

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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 June-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.

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

31.30° N, 34.45° E

Area 154/257

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

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

mean elevation:

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)

Total renewable water resources

1.78 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 1.95 cu km/yr (39%/6%/55%)

per capita: 282.4 cu m/yr (2009)

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

Nationality

noun: Israeli(s)

adjective: Israeli

Ethnic groups

Jewish 75% (of which Israel-born 74.4%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 17.4%, Africa-born 5.1%, Asia-born 3.1%), non-Jewish 25% (mostly Arab) (2013 est.)

Languages

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

Religions

Jewish 75%, Muslim 17.5%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 3.9% (2013 est.)

Population 99/238

8,049,314 (includes populations of the Golan Heights of Golan Sub-District and East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967) (July 2014 est.)

note: approximately 19,400 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights; approximately 200,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2013) (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 27.95% (male 1,151,247/female 1,098,632)

15-24 years: 15.5% (male 637,758/female 609,597)

25-54 years: 37.13% (male 1,528,271/female 1,460,772)

55-64 years: 8.57% (male 336,662/female 353,352)

65 years and over: 10.85% (male 389,401/female 483,622) (2015 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: 29.6 years

male: 28.9 years

female: 30.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 78/233

1.56% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 96/224

18.48 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 183/225

5.15 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 46/222

2.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

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 (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: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.3 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 168/184

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

Infant mortality rate 204/224

total: 3.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.51 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 11/224

total population: 82.27 years

male: 80.43 years

female: 84.21 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 72/224

2.68 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 68/191

7.2% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.34 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

3.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 49/191

25.8% (2014)

Education expenditures 57/173

5.6% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 90/134

total: 10.5%

male: 10.4%

female: 10.7% (2013 est.)

Government

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 twelve 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

Capital

name: Jerusalem: note - Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but 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

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 functions of a constitution are filled mostly by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended) (2015)

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

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 years

Suffrage

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%, 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, made up of all 3 branches of the government and chaired by the Minister of Justice; 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]

SHAS [Arye DERI]

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

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

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 sizable trade deficits, which are covered by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.

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 a resilient banking sector. Israel's economy also has weathered the Arab Spring because strong trade ties outside the Middle East have insulated the economy from spillover effects.

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 2014-15. Natural gas fields discovered off Israel's coast since 2009 have brightened Israel's energy security outlook. The Tamar and Leviathan fields were some of the world's largest offshore natural gas finds in the last decade. Political and regulatory issues have delayed the development of the massive Leviathan field, but production from Tamar provided a 0.8% boost to Israel's GDP in 2013 and a 0.3% boost in 2014.

In mid-2011, public protests arose around income inequality and high housing and commodity prices. 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 of "tycoons" have a cartel-like grip over the major parts of the economy. Government officials have called for reforms to boost the housing supply and increase competition in the banking sector to address these public grievances.

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 technology sector employs only about 8% of the workforce, with the rest mostly employed in manufacturing and services - sectors which face downward wage pressures from global competition.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 55/230

$281.8 billion (2015 est.)

$274.8 billion (2014 est.)

$267.9 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$298.9 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 120/225

2.5% (2015 est.)

2.6% (2014 est.)

3.3% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 53/230

$34,300 (2015 est.)

$33,500 (2014 est.)

$32,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 48/179

25.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

24.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

23.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 55.7%

government consumption: 22%

investment in fixed capital: 18.8%

investment in inventories: 0.3%

exports of goods and services: 29.7%

imports of goods and services: -26.5%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.5%

industry: 27.3%

services: 70% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

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

Industries

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, metal products, chemical products, plastics, cut diamonds, textiles, footwear

Industrial production growth rate 79/202

3.2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 94/233

3.86 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.1%

industry: 17.3%

services: 81.6% (2012)

Unemployment rate 63/207

5.6% (2015 est.)

5.9% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

22%

note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 31.3% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 50/144

42.8 (2012)

39.2 (2008)

Budget

revenues: $76.12 billion

expenditures: $82.12 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 119/219

25.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 70/220

-2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 56/176

64.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

65.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 16/226

-0.6% (2015 est.)

0.5% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 136/156

0.1% (31 December 2014)

0.25% (31 December 2013)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 163/184

3.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

3.91% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 49/192

$59.16 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$51.25 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 40/193

$246 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$155.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 42/191

$211.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$201.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 35/121

$183.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$148.8 billion (31 December 2011)

$122.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 18/197

$13.89 billion (2015 est.)

$13.25 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 49/224

$56.4 billion (2015 est.)

$63.34 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

US 26.9%, Hong Kong 8.9%, UK 5.8%, Belgium 4.8%, China 4%, Turkey 4% (2014)

Imports 45/223

$58.8 billion (2015 est.)

$71.2 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

US 11.8%, China 8.3%, Switzerland 7.2%, Germany 6.4%, Belgium 5.3% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 26/170

$91.61 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$86.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 53/206

$96.16 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$95.37 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 43/120

$108.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$98.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 35/105

$83.42 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$78.02 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

new Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -

3.89 (2015 est.)

3.58 (2014 est.)

3.58 (2013 est.)

3.86 (2012 est.)

3.58 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 44/220

64.44 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption 43/219

59.83 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports 31/218

4.938 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 163/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 46/214

16.25 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 58/214

97.4% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 112/214

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 179/214

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 76/212

2.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production 96/214

390 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 72/214

5,352 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 29/214

275,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 89/215

13.95 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 47/214

276,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 53/212

234,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 52/214

77,280 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 53/213

96,590 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 46/216

7.51 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 52/215

7.57 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 119/215

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 72/214

60 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 37/212

285 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 55/212

62.5 million Mt (2014 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 50/219

total subscriptions: 2.9 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 88/217

total: 9.5 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2014 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; four privately owned mobile-cellular service providers with countrywide coverage

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) (2011)

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, and a music channel supervised by a public body; multi-channel satellite and cable TV packages provide access to foreign channels; IBA broadcasts on 8 radio networks with multiple repeaters and Israel Defense Forces Radio broadcasts over multiple stations; about 15 privately owned radio stations; overall more than 100 stations and repeater stations (2008)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 23, FM 15, shortwave 0 (2010)

Television broadcast stations

7 (2009)

Internet country code

.il

Internet hosts 36/232

2.483 million (2012)

Internet users 58/217

total: 6 million

percent of population: 75.8% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 94/236

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)

Heliports

3 (2013)

Pipelines

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

Railways 89/136

total: 1,250 km

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

Roadways 115/223

total: 18,566 km

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

Merchant marine 120/156

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 and Security

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 5/132

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): 32,668 (Eritrea); 6,588 (Sudan) (2014)

stateless persons: 10 (2014)

Illicit drugs

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