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Israel Geography 1996

    • Affiliation:
      (also see separate Gaza Strip and West Bank entries)

    • Note:
      The territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the data below. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations are being conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives, Syria, and Jordan to determine the final status of the occupied territories. On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace treaty. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace.

    • Location:
      Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        20,770 sq km

        land area:
        20,330 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than New Jersey

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,006 km, Egypt 255 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km

    • Coastline:
      273 km

    • Maritime claims:

        continental shelf:
        to depth of exploitation

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      separated from Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank by the 1949 Armistice Line; the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, formerly occupied by Israel, are now administered largely by the Palestinian Authority; other areas of the West Bank outside Jericho are administered jointly by Israel and the Palestinian Authority; Golan Heights is Israeli occupied; Israeli troops in southern Lebanon since June 1982

    • Climate:
      temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas

    • Terrain:
      Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley

    • Natural resources:
      copper, phosphates, bromide, potash, clay, sand, sulfur, asphalt, manganese, small amounts of natural gas and crude oil

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      2,140 sq km (1989)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides

        natural hazards:
        sandstorms may occur during spring and summer

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Life Conservation

    • Note:
      there are 199 Jewish settlements and civilian land use sites in the West Bank, 42 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, 24 in the Gaza Strip, and 25 in East Jerusalem (August 1994 est.)

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