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Israel Geography Profile 2017

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LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Geographic coordinates31 30 N, 34 45 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Areatotal: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than New Jersey
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
Coastline273 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Climatetemperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
TerrainNegev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 508 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m
Natural resourcestimber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
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.)
Irrigated land2,250 sq km (2012)
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
Natural hazardssandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
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
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
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.)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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