QUICK FACTS

  • Country Name: State of Israel
  • Population: 7.2 million
  • Independence: May 14, 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Official Languages: Hebrew and Arabic
  • Majority Religion: Judaism
  • Location: Western Asia in the Middle East, along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea; bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
  • Area: 290 miles long and 85 miles wide (slightly smaller than New Jersey)
  • Government: Parliamentary Democracy
  • Currency: Shekel
  • Climate:  temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
  • National Anthem: Hatikvah ("The Hope")
  • Israeli Flag:The flag of Israel is based on the design of the tallit, the prayer shawl worn by Jews during certain prayer services. Because the tallit – with its stripes and blue thread – is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Jewish people, it was chosen to be the basis of the flag. In the center of the flag is the Magen David, or "Shield of [King] David," better known in English as the "Star of David" or "Jewish Star," another recognizable Jewish symbol.

  • Coat of Arms