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Israel vs. Lebanon

Introduction

IsraelLebanon
Background"Following World War II, Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948, and Israel subsequently defeated the Arab armies in a series of wars that did not end deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel has occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, Israel conducted bilateral negotiations with Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement with each. Israel and Palestinian officials on 13 September 1993 signed a Declaration of Principles (also known as the ""Oslo Accords""), enshrining the idea of a two-state solution to their conflict and guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. The parties achieved six additional significant interim agreements between 1994 and 1999 aimed at creating the conditions for a two-state solution, but most were never fully realized. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
Progress toward a final status agreement with the Palestinians was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between 2001 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip. The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 temporarily froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon from July-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip from December 2008-January 2009. In November 2012, Israel engaged in a seven-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Direct talks with the Palestinians most recently launched in July 2013 but were suspended in April 2014. The talks represented the fourth concerted effort to resolve final status issues between the sides since they were first discussed at Camp David in 2000. Three months later HAMAS and other militant groups launched rockets into Israel, which led to a 51-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza.
"
Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and granted this area independence in 1943. Since independence the country has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade. The country's 1975-90 civil war that resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life. Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon's foreign policy and internal policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. The Lebanon-based Hizballah militia and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria's withdrawal, and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.

Geography

IsraelLebanon
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Geographic coordinates31 30 N, 34 45 E
33 50 N, 35 50 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km
total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than New Jersey
about one-third the size of Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 1,068 km
border countries (6): Egypt 208 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 307 km, Lebanon 81 km, Syria 83 km, West Bank 330 km
total: 484 km
border countries (2): Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km
Coastline273 km
225 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climatetemperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows
TerrainNegev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 508 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m
mean elevation: 1,250 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m
Natural resourcestimber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 23.8%
arable land 13.7%; permanent crops 3.8%; permanent pasture 6.3%
forest: 7.1%
other: 69.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 63.3%
arable land 11.9%; permanent crops 12.3%; permanent pasture 39.1%
forest: 13.4%
other: 23.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land2,250 sq km (2012)
1,040 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardssandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
dust storms, sandstorms
Environment - current issueslimited arable land and natural freshwater resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - noteLake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) is an important freshwater source; the Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world (after Lake Assal in Djibouti); in 2014, there were 423 settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories - 42 settlements in the Golan Heights, 381 sites in the occupied Palestinian territories to include 212 settlements and 134 outposts in the West Bank, and 35 settlements in East Jerusalem; there are no Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip because all were evacuated in 2005 (2014 est.)
smallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity
Population distributionpopulation concentrated in and around Tel-Aviv, as well as around the Sea of Galilee; the south remains sparsely populated with the exception of the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba
the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density

Demographics

IsraelLebanon
Population8,174,527 (includes populations of the Golan Heights of Golan Sub-District and also East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967) (July 2016 est.)
note: approximately 21,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2015); approximately 201,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2014)
6,237,738 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 27.73% (male 1,159,980/female 1,106,946)
15-24 years: 15.52% (male 648,199/female 620,218)
25-54 years: 37.15% (male 1,552,754/female 1,484,059)
55-64 years: 8.51% (male 340,601/female 355,382)
65 years and over: 11.09% (male 405,511/female 500,877) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 24.65% (male 786,842/female 750,449)
15-24 years: 16.73% (male 534,040/female 509,663)
25-54 years: 44.44% (male 1,401,857/female 1,370,462)
55-64 years: 7.54% (male 220,020/female 250,288)
65 years and over: 6.64% (male 181,627/female 232,490) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.7 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 30.4 years (2016 est.)
total: 29.9 years
male: 29.3 years
female: 30.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.53% (2016 est.)
0.85% (2016 est.)
Birth rate18.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
14.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.4 years
male: 80.6 years
female: 84.4 years (2016 est.)
total population: 77.6 years
male: 76.3 years
female: 78.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.66 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.73 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.06% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Israeli(s)
adjective: Israeli
noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese
Ethnic groupsJewish 74.8% (of which Israel-born 75.6%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 16.6%, Africa-born 4.9%, Asia-born 2.9%), non-Jewish 25.2% (mostly Arab) (2015 est.)
Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendants of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
2,400 (2015 est.)
ReligionsJewish 74.8%, Muslim 17.6%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 4% (2015 est.)
Muslim 54% (27% Sunni, 27% Shia), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Greek Catholic, 6.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons
note: 18 religious sects recognized (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesHebrew (official), Arabic (used officially for Arab minority), English (most commonly used foreign language)
Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.7%
female: 96.8% (2011 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 96%
female: 91.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)
total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2014)
Education expenditures5.9% of GDP (2013)
2.6% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 92.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.37% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 87.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.18% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 80.7% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 80.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 19.3% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 19.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationTel Aviv-Yafo 3.608 million; Haifa 1.097 million; JERUSALEM (proclaimed capital) 839,000 (2015)
BEIRUT (capital) 2.226 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
15 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures7.8% of GDP (2014)
6.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3.62 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
2.38 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density3.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
3.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate25.8% (2014)
30.8% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 64.1
youth dependency ratio: 45.7
elderly dependency ratio: 18.4
potential support ratio: 5.4 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 47.3
youth dependency ratio: 35.4
elderly dependency ratio: 12
potential support ratio: 8.3 (2015 est.)

Government

IsraelLebanon
Country name"conventional long form: State of Israel
conventional short form: Israel
local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
local short form: Yisra'el
etymology: named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name ""Israel"" (""He who struggles with God"") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel
"
"conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan
former: Greater Lebanon
etymology: derives from the Semitic root ""lbn"" meaning ""white"" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon
"
Government typeparliamentary democracy
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Jerusalem: note - while Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, the international community does not recognize it as such; the US, like all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv-Yafo
geographic coordinates: 31 46 N, 35 14 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, Friday before the last Sunday in March; ends the last Sunday in October
name: Beirut
geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv
8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye
Independence14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
National holidayIndependence Day, 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May
Independence Day, 22 November (1943)
Constitutionhistory: no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended)
amendments: proposed by Government of Israel ministers or by the Knesset; passage requires a majority vote of Knesset members and subject to Supreme Court judicial review; 11 of the 13 Basic Laws have been amended at least once, latest in 2014 (2016)
history: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the Chamber of Deputies or proposed by at least 10 members of the Chamber of Deputies and agreed upon by two-thirds of its members; following government review and approval, the proposal is prepared as a draft amendment and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the chamber membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious laws
mixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education; excludes military personnel
Executive branchchief of state: President Reuven RIVLIN (since 27 July 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 31 March 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Knesset for a 7-year term (limited to 1 term); election last held on 10 June 2014 (next to be held in 2021 but can be called earlier); following legislative elections, the president, in consultation with party leaders, tasks a Knesset member (usually the member of the largest party) with forming a government
election results: Reuven RIVLIN elected president in second round; Knesset vote - Reuven RIVLIN (Likud) 63, Meir SHEETRIT (The Movement) 53 , other/invalid 4
chief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Saad al-HARIRI (since 18 December 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan HASBANI (since 18 December 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and National Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); (next to be held in 2022); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly
election results: Michel AWN elected president; National Assembly vote in second round - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because the National Assembly lacked a quorum to hold a vote; the president was elected in the 46th attempt on 31 October 2016
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 March 2015 (next to be held in 2019 but can be called earlier)
election results: percent of vote by party - Likud 23.4%, Zionist Camp 18.7%, Joint List 10.6%, Yesh Atid 8.8%, Kulanu 7.5%, The Jewish Home 6.7%, Shas, 5.7%, Yisrael Beitenu 5.1%, UTJ 5.0%, Meretz 3.9%, Yachad 3.0%, other 1.6%; seats by party - Likud 30, Zionist Camp 24, Joint List 13, Yesh Atid 11, Kulanu 10, The Jewish Home 8, Shas 7, Yisrael Beitenu 6, UTJ 6, Meretz 5
description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic or Assemblee Nationale in French (128 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - seats are apportioned among the Christian and Muslim denominations
note: Lebanon’s Constitution states the National Assembly cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant
elections: last held on 7 June 2009 (next to be held in May 2017)
election results: percent of vote by coalition - March 8 Coalition 54.7%, March 14 Coalition 45.3%; seats by coalition - March 14 Coalition 71; March 8 Coalition 57; seats by coalition following 16 July 2012 byelection held to fill one seat - March 14 Coalition 72, March 8 Coalition 56
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 14 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Judicial Selection Committee consisting of 3 Supreme Court judges, 2 Cabinet members including the Minister of Justice as chairman, 2 Knesset members, and 2 representatives from the Israel Bar Association; judges can serve up to mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: district and magistrate courts; national and regional labor courts; special and religious courts
highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders"Balad [Jamal ZAHALKA]
Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH) [ODEH]
Kulanu [Moshe KAHLON]
Labor [Yitzhak HERZOG]
Likud [Binyamin NETANYAHU]
Meretz [Zehava GALON]
SHAS [Arye DERI]
Tekumah/National Union (Ichud Leumi) [Uri ARIEL]
The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) [Naftali BENNETT]
The Movement (Hatnuah) [Tzipora ""Tzipi"" LIVNI]
United Arab List-Ta'al [Masud GANAIM]
United Torah Judaism or UTJ [Yaakov LITZMAN] (an alliance of three parties)
Yesh Atid [Yair LAPID]
Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]
"
14 March Coalition: Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI]
Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL]
Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sebouh KELPAKIAN]
Hizballah-led bloc (formerly 8 March Coalition):
Amal Movement [Nabih BERRI]
Ba’th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [Fayez SHUKR]
Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL]
Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]
Islamic Actions Front [Sheikh Zuhair al-JU’AYD]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO]
Tashnag or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]
Independent: Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Walid JUNBLATT]

Political pressure groups and leadersBreaking the Silence [Yehuda SHAUL, executive director] collects testimonies from soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
B'Tselem [Hagai EL-AD, executive director] monitors human rights abuses
Peace Now [Yariv OPPENHEIMER, secretary general] supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
YESHA Council [Avi ROEHD, chairman] promotes settler interests and opposes territorial compromise
Grand Mufti of Lebanon [Sheikh Abdul Latif DERIAN]
Maronite Church [Patriarch Bishara al-RA'I]
note: most sects retain militias and a number of Sunni militant groups operate in Palestinian refugee camps
International organization participationBIS, BSEC (observer), CE (observer), CERN, CICA, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW (signatory), OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Ron DERMER (since 3 December 2013)
chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaries Carla JAZZAR (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador David FRIEDMAN (since 23 May 2017)
embassy: 71 HaYarkon Street, Tel Aviv 6343229
telephone: [972] (3) 519-7475
FAX: [972] (3) 516-4390
consular agent: Haifa
chief of mission: Ambassador Elizabeth H. RICHARD (since May 2016)
embassy: Awkar, Lebanon (Awkar facing the Municipality)
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; from US: US Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
telephone: [961] (4) 542600, 543600
FAX: [961] (4) 544136
Flag descriptionwhite with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Star of David or Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag; the basic design resembles a traditional Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), which is white with blue stripes; the hexagram as a Jewish symbol dates back to medieval times
note: the Israeli flag proclamation states that the flag colors are sky blue and white, but the exact shade of blue has never been set and can vary from a light to a dark blue
three horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity
National anthem"name: ""Hatikvah"" (The Hope)
lyrics/music: Naftali Herz IMBER/traditional, arranged by Samuel COHEN
note: adopted 2004, unofficial since 1948; used as the anthem of the Zionist movement since 1897; the 1888 arrangement by Samuel COHEN is thought to be based on the Romanian folk song ""Carul cu boi"" (The Ox Driven Cart)
"
"name: ""Kulluna lil-watan"" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)
lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA
note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew acceptance of International Criminal Court jurisdiction in 2002
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)Star of David (Magen David), menorah (seven-branched lampstand); national colors: blue, white
cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Israel
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but naturalized citizens are not allowed to maintain dual citizenship
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization
note: Israeli law (Law of Return, 5 July 1950) provides for the granting of citizenship to any Jew - defined as a person being born to a Jewish mother or having converted to Judaism while renouncing any other religion - who immigrates to and expresses a desire to settle in Israel on the basis of the Right of aliyah; the 1970 amendment of this act extended the right to family members including the spouse of a Jew, any child or grandchild, and the spouses of children and grandchildren
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown

Economy

IsraelLebanon
Economy - overview"Israel has a technologically advanced free market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are offset by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.

Between 2004 and 2013, growth averaged nearly 5% per year, led by exports. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals, following years of prudent fiscal policy and a resilient banking sector. Israel's economy also weathered the 2011 Arab Spring because strong trade ties outside the Middle East have insulated the economy from spillover effects.

Slowing domestic and international demand and decreased investment resulting from Israel’s uncertain security situation reduced GDP growth to an average of roughly 2.6% per year during 2014-16. Natural gas fields discovered off Israel's coast since 2009 have brightened Israel's energy security outlook. The Tamar and Leviathan fields were some of the world's largest offshore natural gas finds in the last decade. Political and regulatory issues have delayed the development of the massive Leviathan field, but production from Tamar provided a 0.8% boost to Israel's GDP in 2013 and a 0.3% boost in 2014. One of the most carbon intense OECD countries, Israel generates about 57% of its power from coal and only 2.6% from renewable sources.

Income inequality and high housing and commodity prices continue to be a concern for many Israelis. Israel's income inequality and poverty rates are among the highest of OECD countries, and there is a broad perception among the public that a small number of ""tycoons"" have a cartel-like grip over the major parts of the economy. Government officials have called for reforms to boost the housing supply and to increase competition in the banking sector to address these public grievances. Despite calls for reforms, the restricted housing supply continues to impact the well-being of younger Israelis seeking to purchase homes. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers, coupled with guaranteed prices and customs tariffs for farmers kept food prices high in 2016. Private consumption is expected to drive growth through 2017 with consumers benefitting from low inflation and a strong currency.

In the long term, Israel faces structural issues, including low labor participation rates for its fastest growing social segments - the ultraorthodox and Arab-Israeli communities. Also, Israel's progressive, globally competitive, knowledge-based technology sector employs only about 8% of the workforce, with the rest mostly employed in manufacturing and services - sectors which face downward wage pressures from global competition. Expenditures on educational institutions remain low compared to most other OECD countries with similar GDP per capita.
"
Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and weak intellectual property rights. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism.

The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war.

Spillover from the Syrian conflict, including the influx of more than 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees, has increased internal tension and slowed economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-16, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Syrian refugees have increased the labor supply, but are blamed for pushing more Lebanese into unemployment. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the third highest in the world; most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the largest government expenditures remain debt servicing, salaries for government workers, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain other government spending and limit the government’s ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$297 billion (2016 est.)
$289 billion (2015 est.)
$281.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$85.16 billion (2016 est.)
$84.32 billion (2015 est.)
$83.48 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.8% (2016 est.)
2.5% (2015 est.)
3.2% (2014 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$34,800 (2016 est.)
$34,500 (2015 est.)
$34,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$18,500 (2016 est.)
$18,500 (2015 est.)
$18,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.1%
industry: 27.3%
services: 69% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 5.7%
industry: 25%
services: 69.4% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line22%
note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day (2014 est.)
28.6% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 31.3% (2010)
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.5% (2016 est.)
-0.6% (2015 est.)
-1% (2016 est.)
-3.8% (2015 est.)
Labor force3.927 million (2016 est.)
1.628 million
note: does not include as many as 1 million foreign workers, nor refugees (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.1%
industry: 17.3%
services: 81.6% (2015)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate5% (2016 est.)
5.3% (2015 est.)
NA%
Budgetrevenues: $80.75 billion
expenditures: $88.4 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $9.953 billion
expenditures: $14.44 billion (2016 est.)
Industrieshigh-technology products (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, pharmaceuticals, construction, metal products, chemical products, plastics, cut diamonds, textiles, footwear
banking, tourism, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating
Industrial production growth rate2.6% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscitrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
Exports$51.61 billion (2016 est.)
$56.29 billion (2015 est.)
$3.108 billion (2016 est.)
$3.551 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
jewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
Exports - partnersUS 27.5%, Hong Kong 8%, UK 6.1%, China 4.9% (2015)
Saudi Arabia 12.1%, UAE 10.6%, Iraq 7.6%, Syria 7.1%, South Africa 6.6% (2015)
Imports$57.9 billion (2016 est.)
$59.49 billion (2015 est.)
$17.98 billion (2016 est.)
$16.71 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesraw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partnersUS 13%, China 9.3%, Switzerland 7.1%, Germany 6.1%, Belgium 5.3%, Italy 4% (2015)
China 11.5%, Italy 7.1%, Germany 6.8%, France 6%, US 5.7%, Russia 4.6%, Greece 4.4% (2015)
Debt - external$91.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$89.36 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$40.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.08 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesnew Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -
3.871 (2016 est.)
3.8869 (2015 est.)
3.8869 (2014 est.)
3.5779 (2013 est.)
3.86 (2012 est.)
Lebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -
1,507.5 (2016 est.)
1,507.5 (2015 est.)
1,507.5 (2014 est.)
1,507.5 (2013 est.)
1,507.5 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt63.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
63.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
161.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
147.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$97.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$90.58 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$47.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$48.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$11.56 billion (2016 est.)
$13.02 billion (2015 est.)
-$8.305 billion (2016 est.)
-$9.327 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$311.7 billion (2016 est.)
$51.82 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$113.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$104.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$95.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$89.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares$243.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$200.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$203.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$11.22 billion (30 December 2014 est.)
$10.54 billion (30 December 2013 est.)
$10.42 billion (28 December 2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.1% (15 December 2015)
0.25% (31 December 2014)
3.5% (31 December 2010)
10% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.46% (31 December 2015 est.)
8.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.09% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$233.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$211.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$103.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$97.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$73.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$63.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.466 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.998 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$246 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$155.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$55.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$52.15 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.6%
male: 10.1%
female: 11.1% (2014 est.)
total: 22.1%
male: 22.3%
female: 21.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 55.6%
government consumption: 22.2%
investment in fixed capital: 19.1%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 29.1%
imports of goods and services: -27% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 93.4%
government consumption: 13.7%
investment in fixed capital: 27.2%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 20.2%
imports of goods and services: -55.1% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving22.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
2% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
-1.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

IsraelLebanon
Electricity - production57 billion kWh (2014 est.)
18 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption59.83 billion kWh (2014 est.)
16 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports4.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
100 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production390 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports285,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves13.95 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves199 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production7.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption7.98 billion cu m (2014 est.)
150.1 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports2.605 billion cu m (2011 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports80 million cu m (2014 est.)
150.1 million cu m (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity16.25 million kW (2014 est.)
2.3 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels97.4% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
90.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
9.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources2.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production309,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption224,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
143,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports144,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports68,920 bbl/day (2015 est.)
139,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy62.5 million Mt (2014 est.)
16 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

IsraelLebanon
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 3.412 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 970,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 10.57 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 131 (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.4 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 71 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East
domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital; competition among both fixed-line and mobile cellular providers results in good coverage countrywide
international: country code - 972; submarine cables provide links to Europe, Cyprus, and parts of the Middle East; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: repair of the telecommunications system, severely damaged during the civil war, now complete
domestic: two mobile-cellular networks provide good service; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership almost 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 961; submarine cable links to Cyprus, Egypt, and Syria; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean); coaxial cable to Syria (2015)
Internet country code.il
.lb
Internet userstotal: 6.35 million
percent of population: 78.9% (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.577 million
percent of population: 74% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediastate broadcasting network, operated by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), broadcasts on 2 channels, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic; 5 commercial channels including a channel broadcasting in Russian, a channel broadcasting Knesset proceedings, and a music channel supervised by a public body; multi-channel satellite and cable TV packages provide access to foreign channels; IBA broadcasts on 8 radio networks with multiple repeaters and Israel Defense Forces Radio broadcasts over multiple stations; about 15 privately owned radio stations; overall more than 100 stations and repeater stations (2008)
7 TV stations, 1 of which is state owned; more than 30 radio stations, 1 of which is state owned; satellite and cable TV services available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible through partner stations (2007)

Transportation

IsraelLebanon
Railwaystotal: 1,250 km
standard gauge: 1,250 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 401 km
standard gauge: 319 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050-m gauge
note: rail system unusable due to damage sustained from fighting in the 1980s and in 2006 (2008)
Roadwaystotal: 18,566 km
paved: 18,566 km (includes 449 km of expressways) (2011)
total: 6,970 km (includes 170 km of expressways) (2005)
Pipelinesgas 763 km; oil 442 km; refined products 261 km (2013)
gas 88 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa
container port(s) (TEUs): Ashdod (1,176,000), Haifa (1,238,000)
major seaport(s): Beirut, Tripoli
container port(s) (TEUs): Beirut (1,034,249)
Merchant marinetotal: 8
by type: cargo 1, container 7
registered in other countries: 48 (Bermuda 3, Georgia 1, Honduras 1, Liberia 34, Malta 3, Moldova 2, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3) (2010)
total: 29
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 7, carrier 17, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 2 (Syria 2)
registered in other countries: 34 (Barbados 2, Cambodia 5, Comoros 2, Egypt 1, Georgia 1, Honduras 2, Liberia 1, Malta 6, Moldova 1, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Sierra Leone 2, Togo 6, unknown 1) (2010)
Airports47 (2013)
8 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 29
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Heliports3 (2013)
1 (2013)

Military

IsraelLebanon
Military branchesIsrael Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Naval Force (IN), Israel Air Force (IAF) (2010)
Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Lebanese Army ((Al Jaysh al Lubnani) includes Lebanese Navy (Al Quwwat al Bahiriyya al Lubnaniya), Lebanese Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Lubnaniya)) (2013)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druze) military service; 17 years of age for voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 32 months for enlisted men and 24 months for enlisted women (varies based on military occupation), 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9 years service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), age 24 (women) (2015)
17-30 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-24 years of age for officer candidates; no conscription (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP5.38% of GDP (2015)
5.86% of GDP (2014)
5.75% of GDP (2013)
5.72% of GDP (2012)
5.88% of GDP (2011)
4.76% of GDP (2015)
4.96% of GDP (2014)
4.36% of GDP (2013)
4.07% of GDP (2012)
4.06% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

IsraelLebanon
Disputes - international"West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a ""seam line"" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew its settlers and military from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the West Bank in August 2005; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied (Lebanon claims the Shab'a Farms area of Golan Heights); since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization headquartered in Jerusalem monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region
"
lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon has been in place since 1978
Illicit drugsincreasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center
cannabis cultivation dramatically reduced to 2,500 hectares in 2002 despite continued significant cannabis consumption; opium poppy cultivation minimal; small amounts of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin transit country on way to European markets and for Middle Eastern consumption; money laundering of drug proceeds fuels concern that extremists are benefiting from drug trafficking
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 27,812 (Eritrea) (2016)
stateless persons: 42 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 1,011,366 (Syria); 458,369 (Palestinian refugees); 6,454 (Iraq) (2016)
IDPs: 12,000 (2007 Lebanese security forces' destruction of Palestinian refugee camp) (2015)
stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - tens of thousands of persons are stateless in Lebanon, including many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Syrian Kurds denaturalized in Syria in 1962, children born to Lebanese women married to foreign or stateless men; most babies born to Syrian refugees, and Lebanese children whose births are unregistered

Source: CIA Factbook