The State of Israel

In its Resolution 181, the United Nations General Assembly called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

It was adopted on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent.

The resolution was accepted by the Jews in Palestine, yet rejected by the Arabs in Palestine and the Arab states.

The independence of the state of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May, 1948 by David Ben Gurion, who will become the first Prime Minister.

Israel is a parliamentary democracy in the Middle East, the only one to date.

The state defines itself as both Jewish and democratic. Most of its population is Jewish with a large Arab minority.

Israel's capital and its largest city is Jerusalem, but this stands in disagreement, due to Palestinian's claim on Eastern Jerusalem as their future Palestinian state's capital.

The official languages are Hebrew, Arabic and English and the Israeli.

The currency is the New Shekel (1 € = +/- 5 ILS).

The state of Israel is located on the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the East, Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south.

It ranges over 22,072 / 20,770 km (with/out the Golan Heights & Eastern Jerusalem) and captures quite a diverse collection of geographical features within its relatively small area, due to its special position on the Great Rift Valley.

The Israeli climate is typically Mediterranean, with a hot and dry summer and a humid winter.

Israel's population counts 8 million residents (2013), including the Israeli Arabs in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights & West Bank residents), from which 75.3% Jews, 20.7% Arabs and around 4% Christians and religiously-untitled.

Besides the Israeli- Arab conflict, the Israeli population is also categorized by a deep economic, ethnic, religious (between secular and orthodox Jews), political and gender- oriented polarization.

Israel has fought several wars that forced recruitment of its reserve units in its 65 years of existence; therefore, it should not be taken for granted that the Israeli economy has been relatively strong and growing even throughout the current financial world crisis.