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    Israel Government - 1990

      Long-form name: State of Israel

      Type: republic

      Capital: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem its capital in 1950, but the US, like nearly all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv

      Administrative divisions: 6 districts (mehozot, singular--mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv

      Independence: 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

      Constitution: no formal constitution; some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the basic laws of the Parliament (Knesset), and the Israeli citizenship law

      Legal system: mixture of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985 Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

      National holiday: Independence Day, 10 May 1989; Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May

      Executive branch: president, prime minister, vice prime minister, Cabinet

      Legislative branch: unicameral Knesset

      Judicial branch: Supreme Court

      Leaders: Chief of State--President Gen. Chaim HERZOG (since 5 May 1983); Head of Government--Prime Minister Yitzhak SHAMIR (since 20 October 1986); Vice Prime Minister Shimon PERES (Prime Minister from 13 September 1984 to 20 October 1986, when he rotated to Vice Prime Minister)

      Political parties and leaders: Israel currently has a national unity government comprising five parties that hold 95 of the Knesset's 120 seats; Members of the unity government--Likud bloc, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir; Labor Party, Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Shimon Peres; Sephardic Torah Guardians (SHAS), Minister of Immigrant Absorption Yitzhak Peretz; National Religious Party, Minister of Religious Affairs Zevulun Hammer; Agudat Yisrael, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Moshe Zeev Feldman; Opposition parties--Tehiya Party, Yuval Ne'eman; Tzomet Party, Rafael Eytan; Moledet Party, Rehavam Ze'evi; Degel HaTorah, Avraham Ravitz; Citizens' Rights Movement, Shulamit Aloni; United Workers' Party (MAPAM), Yair Tzaban; Center Movement-Shinui, Amnon Rubenstein; New Communist Party of Israel (RAKAH), Meir Wilner; Progressive List for Peace, Muhammad Mi'ari; Arab Democratic Party, Abd Al Wahab Darawshah

      Suffrage: universal at age 18

      Elections: President--last held 23 February 1988 (next to be held February 1994); results--Gen. Chaim Herzog reelected by Knesset; Parliament--last held 1 November 1988 (next to be held by November 1992); seats--(120 total) Likud bloc 40, Labor Party 39, SHAS 6, National Religious Party 5, Agudat Yisrael 5, Citizens' Rights Movement 5, RAKAH 4, Tehiya Party 3, MAPAM 3, Tzomet Party 2, Moledet Party 2, Degel HaTorah 2, Center Movement-Shinui 2, Progressive List for Peace 1, Arab Democratic Party 1

      Communists: Hadash (predominantly Arab but with Jews in its leadership) has some 1,500 members

      Other political or pressure groups: Gush Emunim, Jewish nationalists advocating Jewish settlement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Peace Now, critical of government's West Bank/Gaza Strip and Lebanon policies

      Member of: CCC, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOOC, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, IWC--International Wheat Council, OAS (observer), UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO

      Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Moshe ARAD; Chancery at 3514 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 364-5500; there are Israeli Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco; US--Ambassador William A. BROWN; Embassy at 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv (mailing address is APO New York 09672); telephone p972o (3) 654338; there is a US Consulate General in Jerusalem

      Flag: white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag

      NOTE: The information regarding Israel on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Israel Government 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Israel Government 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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