Following World War One, the League of Nations passed a British Mandate of Palestine creating a home for the Jews. The United Nations approved the separation of Palestine into one Jewish and one Arab nation in 1947. Israel declared independence in 1948 which preceded a war involving neighboring Arab countries opposing Israeli freedom.
With the aid of the United States, Israel (IL) was victorious in several wars to follow, after which they expanded their borders beyond those set by the UN. To this day conflict with Arab neighbors centers on Israel's right to even exist. Egypt and Jordan are at peace with Israel while Iran and Syria continue to bounce the political ball.
Israel is at the eastern Mediterranean Sea with Lebanon to its north, Syria northeast and Jordan east. Egypt is to the southwest. Despite being small in size, Israel includes the Negev desert and the Galilee mountains and the northern Golan Heights. 70% of the population lives on the Israeli Coastal Plain on the Mediterranean shore.
The Jordan River passes through the Jordan Rift Valley from Mt. Hermon to the Hulah Valley, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. which incidently is the lowest place on the planet.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and Tel Aviv is the financial hub. Israelis speak Arabic and Hebrew. Many Israelis speak English well as it is taught in school. Israel is referred to as the Jewish State with religious sects of Haredi, Orthodox Jews and Secular Jews. Those of Jewish lineage are granted Israeli citizenship. Muslims make up about 15% of the population and they are the largest religious minority. Sacred sites include the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.
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