The lands of Israel and Palestine have vitally important to the three great monotheistic religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) for centuries, providing some of their most sacred sites but also the site of much conflict. Jerusalem is a city filled with historic and religious monuments including some of the holiest Jewish, Christian and Muslim structures in the world. Elsewhere the Jordan Valley contains numerous other Biblical and religious sites such as Jericho, Bethlehem and Tiberias. The Jewish fortress at Masada, site of the final stand against Roman forces, and the Crusader town of Acre highlight the conflict this country has faced for centuries. The contemporary face of Israel is seen in Tel Aviv, with the Modern Movement architecture of the White City and cosmopolitan cafes, restaurants and bars of the modern city. Explore in depth highlights of Israel.
|Time zone:||GMT +2 (Israel standard time)|
|Daylight savings:||GMT +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends the Sunday between the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur|
|Main languages:||Hebrew||Other languages: Arabic|
new Israeli shekels (ILS)|
€1 = ₪0.00, $1 = ₪3.77, £1 = ₪5.01
(rates as of Sep 2016)
|Internet Domain:||.il||International Dialling Code: 972|
For help planning your trip to Israel including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Israel trip planning page.
Further information on Israel
Discover more about Israel - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.
Geography & Natural Features
Total area: 20,770 sq km (440 sq km under water)
Coastline: 273 km (Mediterranean Sea)
Climate: Temperate climate with hot, dry summers and wet winters along the coast. Southern and eastern deserts are very hot.
Highest mountain: Har Meron (1,208m)
Freedom & Rights
Summary status and rankings for Israel from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.
|Freedom in the World||Free||-|
|Democracy Index||Flawed democracy||36/167|
|Economic Freedom||Mostly Free||33/179|
|Press Freedom||Noticeable problems||99/179|
|ILGA LGBT rights||Some rights||-|
|Corruption Perceptions||Low corruption||37/174|
Other Data & Links
Full name: State of Israel Status: Independent Country
Population: 7,821,850 (rank: 98/196) Density: 376.5 people/sq km (rank: 19/196)
Ethnic groups: Jewish 76.4% (of which Israel-born 67.1%, Europe/America-born 22.6%, Africa-born 5.9%, Asia-born 4.2%), non-Jewish 23.6% (mostly Arab) (2004)
Religions: Jewish 76.4%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.7%, other Christian 0.4%, Druze 1.6%, unspecified 3.9% (2004)
GDP (PPP): $273.2 billion GDP per capita: $36,200 (rank: 26/195)