Israel is a sovereign nation that covers an area of about 20,770 sq. km in West Asia.
As observed on the physical map of Israel above, despite its small size, the country has a highly varied topography. It can be divided into four distinct physiographic regions.
The Mediterranean coastal plain: A fertile (and mostly flat) coastal plain fronts the Mediterranean Sea coastline of Israel. It is about 115 miles (185 km) long and is quite narrow. Several sandy beaches dot the coast.
Hills in central and northern Israel: Here, rolling hills dissect the country, including the central Samarian hills and the mountains and hills of Galilee in the north. Israel's highest point, Mt. Meron, which peaks at 3,963 ft. (1,208m) is located in the northern mountain region. It has been marked on the map by a yellow triangle. These mountains of this region end in an escarpment that overlooks the Great Rift Valley.
The Great Rift Valley: The valley runs south to the Gulf of Aqaba along its southern border with Jordan.
Negev Desert (part of the Sinai Desert) dominates the southern landscape.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point (below sea level) on earth. The River Jordan is the most significant river, forming the natural border between Israel and Jordan.
Lake Tiberias and the Jordan River comprises the main drainage system in Israel. Several other rivers also flow through the country.
Israel (officially, State of Israel) is divided into 6 administrative districts (mehozot, sing. mehoz). In alphabetical order these districts are: Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern and Tel Aviv. The districts are further divided into 15 subdistricts (nafot) and a number of smaller subdivisions.
Located on a plateau in the Judaen Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, is Jerusalem – the capital and largest city of Israel. Jerusalem is regarded as a sacred city by the Christians, Jews and Muslims. Tel Aviv, located in central Israel, is the country’s economic and technological center.
Israel is a Middle East country, situated in Western Asia. It is located in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. Israel is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east, Egypt in the southwest; the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) in the east and west. Israel is situated on the South eastern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern coasts of the Red Sea.
Regional Maps: Map of Asia
|Legal Name||State of Israel|
|Capital City||Jerusalem; note - the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel&rsquo;s capital in December 2017 without taking a position on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty|
|31 46 N, 35 14 E|
|Independence||14 May 1948 (following League of Nations mandate under British administration)|
|Total Area||21,937 km2|
|Land Area||21,497 km2|
|Water Area||440 km2|
|Total Border||1,065 km|
|Bordering Countries||Egypt 206 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 336 km (20 km are within the Dead Sea), Lebanon 107 km, Syria 79 km, West Bank 278 km|
|Climate||Temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas|
|Coordinates||31 30 N, 34 45 E|
|Mean Elevation||508 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-431 m|
|Highest Elevation||2,236 m|
|Mitspe Shlagim 2,224 m; note - this is the highest named point, the actual highest point is an unnamed dome slightly to the west of Mitspe Shlagim at|
|Ethnic Groups||Jewish 74.4% (of which Israel-born 76.9%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 15.9%, Africa-born 4.6%, Asia-born 2.6%), Arab 20.9%, other 4.7% (2018 est.)|
|Languages||Hebrew (official), Arabic (special status under Israeli law), English (most commonly used foreign language)|
|Religions||Jewish 74.3%, Muslim 17.8%, Christian 1.9%, Druze 1.6%, other 4.4% (2018 est.)|
|Currency||new Israeli shekels (ILS)|
|GDP Per Capita||$43,641.40|
|Exports||Machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel|
This page was last updated on September 16, 2020