A densely-populated, and relatively small, country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is the only country in the world whose population is majority Jewish. It is a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system, that has unfortunately been locked in conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors over ownership of land considered holy by many Jews, Christians and Muslims since Israel was created in 1948.
Israel is located in the Levant area of the Fertile Crescent region with a varied climate. The coastal areas, including its capital of Tel Aviv, have typically Mediterranean climates with cool winters and hot summers, while the areas around Negev are deserts with hot, dry climates.
The population of Israel is a little less than 10 million, where about three-quarters of the people classify themselves as Jewish, about 20% as Arabs and the remainder as non-Arab Christians. Hebrew is currently Israel’s only official language, although Arabic used to also be considered official and is spoken widely amongst the Arab population.