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Israel
Capital:
Jerusalem; note - Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the US, like nearly all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv
Population:
6,199,008
note: includes about 187,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, about 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, more than 5,000 in the Gaza Strip, and fewer than 177,000 in East Jerusalem (July 2004 est.)
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Background:
Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted. 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. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives (from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip) and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. On 24 June 2002, US President Bush laid out a "road map" for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which envisions a two-state solution. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement has been undermined by Palestinian-Israeli violence ongoing since September 2000.
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $120.9 billion (2003 est.)
Internet users:
2 million (2002)
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