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Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories Israel 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 pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords") guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In April 2003, US President BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, and Russia - the "Quartet" - took the lead in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. In the summer of 2005, Israel 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 froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Ehud OLMERT became prime minister in March 2006 and presided over a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip during December 2008 and January 2009. OLMERT, who in June 2007 resumed talks with PA President Mahmoud ABBAS, resigned in September 2008. Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU formed a coalition in March 2009 following a February 2009 general election. Direct talks launched in September 2010 collapsed following the expiration of Israel's 10-month partial settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank.


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Geography

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

Geographic coordinates
31 30 N, 34 45 E

Map references
Middle East

Area World Ranking: 154
Total 20,770 sq km
Land 20,330 sq km
Water 440 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly larger than New Jersey

Land boundaries
Total 1,017 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
2,250 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
1.7 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 2.05 cu km/yr (31%/7%/62%)
Per capita 305 cu m/yr (2000)

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; there are about 355 Israeli civilian sites including about 145 small outpost communities in the West Bank, 41 sites in the Golan Heights, and 32 in East Jerusalem (2010 est.)


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  Israel (Jerusalem):


  GPS points from Israel (Jerusalem)

Bab El Awdah Jerusalem District

Kafr `anah Hamerkaz

Ora Jerusalem District

Ramat Zofar Southern District

Har Hapizzez Northern District

Beit Qamah Southern District

Agam Kefar Barukh Northern District

Mesillat Ziyyon Jerusalem District




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