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Area: 20,325 sq. km.1 (7,850 sq. mi.); about the size of New Jersey.
Cities: Capital--Jerusalem.2 Other cities--Tel Aviv, Haifa.
Terrain: Plains, mountains, desert, and coast.
Climate: Temperate, except in desert areas.

People (2001)
Population: 6.4 million.
Annual growth rate: 2.5%.
Ethnic groups: Jewish 5.2 million; non-Jewish 1.2 million. Religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Druze.
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic (official), Russian, English.
Education: Years compulsory--11. Literacy--total population 95% (female 93%; male 97%).
Health: Infant mortality rate--5.4/1,000. Life expectancy--female 80.8 years; male 79.7 years.
Work force (2.5 million): Manufacturing--19%; commerce--13%; education--13%; other business services--11%; health and social services--10%; construction--6%; other--7%; transportation--6%; public administration--5%; hotels and restaurants--4%; banking and finance--3%; agriculture--2%; electricity and water--1%.

Introduction To Israel



Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: May 14, 1948.
Constitution: None.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state); prime minister (head of government). Legislative--unicameral, Knesset.
Judicial--Supreme Court.
Political parties: Labor, Likud, and various other secular and religious parties, including some wholly or predominantly supported by Israel's Arab citizens. A total of 19 parties are represented in the 15th Knesset, elected May 1999.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.