Israel vs. Egypt


The State of Israel was declared in 1948, after Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine. The UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, and Arab armies that rejected the UN plan were defeated. Israel was admitted as a member of the UN in 1949 and saw rapid population growth, primarily due to migration from Europe and the Middle East, over the following years. Israel fought wars against its Arab neighbors in 1967 and 1973, followed by peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, and subsequently administered those territories through military authorities. Israel and Palestinian officials signed a number of interim agreements in the 1990s that created an interim period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. While the most recent formal efforts to negotiate final status issues occurred in 2013-2014, the US continues its efforts to advance peace. Immigration to Israel continues, with 28,600 new immigrants, mostly Jewish, in 2016. The Israeli economy has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last 25 years, led by cutting-edge, high-tech sectors. Offshore gas discoveries in the Mediterranean, most notably in the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, place Israel at the center of a potential regional natural gas market. However, longer-term structural issues such as low labor force participation among minority populations, low workforce productivity, high costs for housing and consumer staples, and a lack of competition, remain a concern for many Israelis and an important consideration for Israeli politicians. Prime Minister Benjamin NETANYAHU has led the Israeli Government since 2009; he formed a center-right coalition following the 2015 elections. In December 2018 the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, leading to an election in April 2019. When that election failed to result in formation of a government, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself again. A new election was held in September 2019. 

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 elevated Egypt as an important world transportation hub. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty from Britain in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have reaffirmed the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's fast-growing population as it implements far-reaching economic reforms, including the reduction of select subsidies, large-scale infrastructure projects, energy cooperation, and foreign direct investment appeals.

Inspired by the 2010 Tunisian revolution, Egyptian opposition groups led demonstrations and labor strikes countrywide, culminating in President Hosni MUBARAK's ouster in 2011. Egypt's military assumed national leadership until a new parliament was in place in early 2012; later that same year, Muhammad MURSI won the presidential election. Following protests throughout the spring of 2013 against MURSI's government and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Armed Forces intervened and removed MURSI from power in July 2013 and replaced him with interim president Adly MANSOUR. Simultaneously, the government began enacting laws to limit freedoms of assembly and expression. In January 2014, voters approved a new constitution by referendum and in May 2014 elected former defense minister Abdelfattah ELSISI president. Egypt elected a new legislature in December 2015, its first parliament since 2012. ELSISI was reelected to a second four-year term in March 2018. In April 2019, Egypt approved via national referendum a set of constitutional amendments extending ELSISI’s term in office through 2024 and possibly through 2030 if re-elected for a third term. The amendments would also allow future presidents up to two consecutive six-year terms in office, re-establish the senate, allow for one or more vice presidents, establish a 25% quota for female parliamentarians, reaffirm the military’s role as guardian of Egypt, and expand presidential authority to appointment the heads of judicial councils.




Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula
Geographic coordinates
31 30 N, 34 45 E
27 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references
Middle East
total: 21,937 sq km
land: 21,497 sq km
water: 440 sq km
total: 1,001,450 sq km
land: 995,450 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than New Jersey
more than eight times the size of Ohio; slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries
total: 1,065 km
border countries (6): Egypt 206 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 336 km (20 km are within the Dead Sea), Lebanon 107 km, Syria 79 km, West Bank 278 km
total: 2,612 km
border countries (4): Gaza Strip 13 km, Israel 208 km, Libya 1115 km, Sudan 1276 km
273 km
2,450 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or the equidistant median line with Cyprus
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 508 m note - does not include elevation data from the Golan Heights
lowest point: Dead Sea -431 m
highest point: Mitspe Shlagim 2,224 m; note - this is the highest named point, the actual highest point is an unnamed dome slightly to the west of Mitspe Shlagim at 2,236 m; both points are on the northeastern border of Israel, along the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range
mean elevation: 321 m
lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m
Natural resources
timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, rare earth elements, zinc
Land use
agricultural land: 23.8% (2011 est.)
arable land: 13.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 3.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 6.3% (2011 est.)
forest: 7.1% (2011 est.)
other: 69.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 3.6% (2011 est.)
arable land: 2.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
forest: 0.1% (2011 est.)
other: 96.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
2,250 sq km (2012)
36,500 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards
sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes; flash floods; landslides; hot, driving windstorms called khamsin occur in spring; dust storms; sandstorms
Environment - current issues
limited arable land and restricted natural freshwater resources; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; limited natural freshwater resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources
Environment - international agreements
party 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, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
note 1: Lake 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)

note 2: the Malham Cave in Mount Sodom is the world's longest salt cave at 10 km (6 mi); its survey is not complete and its length will undoubtedly increase; Mount Sodom is actually a hill some 220 m (722 ft) high that is 80% salt (multiple salt layers covered by a veneer of rock)

note 3: in March 2019, there were 380 Israeli settlements,to include 213 settlements and 132 outposts in the West Bank, and 35 settlements in East Jerusalem; there are no Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, as all were evacuated in 2005 (2019)
controls Sinai Peninsula, the only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees from Sudan and the Palestinian territories
Population distribution
population 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
approximately 95% of the population lives within 20 km of the Nile River and its delta; vast areas of the country remain sparsely populated or uninhabited


8,424,904 (includes populations of the Golan Heights or Golan Sub-District and also East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967) (July 2018 est.)

note: approximately 22,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2016); approximately 201,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2014)

99,413,317 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 27.26% (male 1,175,106 /female 1,121,309)
15-24 years: 15.58% (male 670,121 /female 642,155)
25-54 years: 37.19% (male 1,601,516 /female 1,531,849)
55-64 years: 8.42% (male 350,050 /female 359,578)
65 years and over: 11.55% (male 437,511 /female 535,709) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 33.38% (male 17,177,977 /female 16,007,877)
15-24 years: 18.65% (male 9,551,309 /female 8,988,006)
25-54 years: 37.71% (male 19,053,300 /female 18,431,808)
55-64 years: 5.99% (male 2,956,535 /female 2,995,497)
65 years and over: 4.28% (male 2,058,217 /female 2,192,791) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 30.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 29.5 years
female: 30.7 years
total: 23.9 years (2018 est.)
male: 23.6 years
female: 24.3 years
Population growth rate
1.49% (2018 est.)
2.38% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
17.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
28.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
4.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
total: 18.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 19.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 82.7 years (2018 est.)
male: 80.8 years
female: 84.7 years
total population: 73.2 years (2018 est.)
male: 71.8 years
female: 74.7 years
Total fertility rate
2.63 children born/woman (2018 est.)
3.41 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.2% (2018)
<.1% (2018 est.)
noun: Israeli(s)
adjective: Israeli
noun: Egyptian(s)
adjective: Egyptian
Ethnic groups
Jewish 74.4% (of which Israel-born 76.9%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 15.9%, Africa-born 4.6%, Asia-born 2.6%), Arab 20.9%, other 4.7% (2018 est.)
Egyptian 99.7%, other 0.3% (2006 est.)

note: data represent respondents by nationality

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
9,000 (2018)
22,000 (2018 est.)
Jewish 74.7%, Muslim 17.7%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 4% (2016 est.)
Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 90%, Christian (majority Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<100 (2018)
<500 (2018 est.)
Hebrew (official), Arabic (used officially for Arab minority), English (most commonly used foreign language)
Arabic (official), Arabic, English, and French widely understood by educated classes
definition: 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: 80.8%
male: 86.5%
female: 75% (2017 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 17 years (2016)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2016)
Education expenditures
5.9% of GDP (2015)
urban population: 92.5% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 42.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 1.86% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: 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: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 96.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 93.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 94.7% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 3.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - population
4.097 million Tel Aviv-Yafo, 1.141 million Haifa, 919,000 JERUSALEM (capital) (2019)
20.485 million CAIRO (capital), 5.182 million Alexandria (2019)
Maternal mortality rate
3 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
37 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures
7.4% (2015)
4.6% (2016)
Physicians density
3.22 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
0.79 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
3.1 beds/1,000 population (2013)
1.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
26.1% (2016)
32% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
27.6 years (2015 est.)
22.7 years (2014 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 64.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 45.7 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 18.4 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 5.4 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 61.8 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 53.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 8.2 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 12.2 (2015 est.)


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: Arab Republic of Egypt
conventional short form: Egypt
local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
local short form: Misr
former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)
etymology: the English name "Egypt" derives from the ancient Greek name for the country "Aigyptos"; the Arabic name "Misr" can be traced to the ancient Akkadian "misru" meaning border or frontier
Government type
parliamentary democracy
presidential republic
name: Jerusalem; note - the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 without taking a position on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty
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
etymology: Jerusalem's settlement may date back to 2800 B.C.; it is named Urushalim in Egyptian texts of the 14th century B.C.; "uru-shalim" likely means "foundation of [by] the god Shalim", and derives from Hebrew/Semitic "yry", "to found or lay a cornerstone", and Shalim, the Canaanite god of dusk and the nether world; Shalim was associated with sunset and peace and the name is based on the same S-L-M root from which Semitic words for "peace" are derived (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew); this confluence has thus led to naming interpretations such as "The City of Peace" or "The Abode of Peace"
name: Cairo
geographic coordinates: 30 03 N, 31 15 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: from the Arabic "al-Qahira," meaning "the victorious"
Administrative divisions
6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv
27 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria), Al Isma'iliyah (Ismailia), Al Jizah (Giza), Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah (Cairo), Al Qalyubiyah, Al Uqsur (Luxor), Al Wadi al Jadid (New Valley), As Suways (Suez), Ash Sharqiyah, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id (Port Said), Dumyat (Damietta), Janub Sina' (South Sinai), Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina' (North Sinai), Suhaj
14 May 1948 (following League of Nations mandate under British administration)
28 February 1922 (from UK protectorate status; the military-led revolution that began on 23 July 1952 led to a republic being declared on 18 June 1953 and all British troops withdrawn on 18 June 1956); note - it was ca. 3200 B.C. that the Two Lands of Upper (southern) and Lower (northern) Egypt were first united politically
National holiday
Independence 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
Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)
history: 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 2018 (2018)
history: several previous; latest approved by a constitutional committee in December 2013, approved by referendum held on 14-15 January 2014, ratified by interim president on 19 January 2014
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one fifth of the House of Representatives members; a decision to accept the proposal requires majority vote by House members; passage of amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote by House members and passage by majority vote in a referendum; articles of reelection of the president and principles of freedom are not amendable unless the amendment "brings more guarantees;" amended 2019 (2019)
Legal system
18 years of age; universal; 17 years of age for municipal elections
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state: President Reuben RIVLIN (since 27 July 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 31 March 2009); note - on 23 October 2019, following the inconclusive 25 September Knesset election, President RIVLIN tasked Benny GANTZ with forming a new government after Prime Minister NETANYAHU was unable to do so
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 on 9 April 2019); 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 Abdelfattah ELSISI (since 8 June 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Mostafa MADBOULY (since 7 June 2018); note - Prime Minister Sherif ISMAIL (since 12 September 2015) resigned 6 June 2018
cabinet: Cabinet ministers nominated by the executive authorities and approved by the House of Representatives
elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 26-28 March 2018 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister appointed by the president, approved by the House of Representatives; note: the presidential term was extended from 4 to 6 years, following approval in a constitutional amendment approved by referendum in April 2019
election results: Abdelfattah ELSISI reelected president in first round; percent of valid votes cast - Abdelfattah ELSISI (independent) 97.1%, Moussa Mostafa MOUSSA (El Ghad Party) 2.9%; note - more than 7% of ballots cast were deemed invalid
Legislative branch
description: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed-list proportional representation vote, with a 3.25% threshold to gain representation; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 September 2019 (next to be held in 2023)
election results: percent by party - Blue and White 26%, Likud 25.1%, Joint List 10.6%, Shas 7.4%, Yisrael Beiteinu 7%, United Torah Judaism 6.1%, Yamina 5.9%, Labor-Gesher 4.8%, Democratic Union 4.3%, other 2.8%; seats by party - Blue and White 33, Likud 32, Joint List 13, Shas 9, Yisrael Beiteinu 8, United Torah Judaism 7, Yamina 7, Labor-Gesher 6, Democratic Union 5; composition - men 92, women 28, percent of women 23%
unicameral House of Representatives (Majlis Al-Nowaab) (596 seats; 448 members directly elected by individual candidacy system, 120 members - with quotas for women, youth, Christians and workers - elected in party-list constituencies by simple majority popular vote, and 28 members appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms; note - inaugural session held on 10 January 2016

note: a referendum held in April 2019, approved a constitutional amendment - effective following the 2020 election - to restore the upper chamber of the legislative body, designated the Senate, with 180 seats - 60 members to be appointed by the president and 120 members to be directly elected; the amendment also calls for the reduction of the existing People's Assembly from 596 to 450 seats
elections: multi-phase election completed on 16 December 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -- Free Egyptians Party 65, Future of the Nation 53, New Wafd Party 36, Homeland's Protector Party 18, Republican People's Party 13, Congress Party 12, Al-Nour Party 11, Conservative Party 6, Democratic Peace Party 5, Egyptian National Movement 4, Egyptian Social Democratic Party 4, Modern Egypt Party 4, Freedom Party 3, My Homeland Egypt Party 3, Reform and Development Party 3, National Progressive Unionist Party 2, Arab Democratic Nasserist Party 1, El Serh El Masry el Hor 1, Revolutionary Guards Party 1, independent 351; composition - men 507, women 89, percent of women 14.9%
Judicial branch
highest courts: 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: Court for Administrative Matters; district and magistrate courts; national and regional labor courts; special and religious courts
highest courts: Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) (consists of the court president and 10 justices); the SCC serves as the final court of arbitration on the constitutionality of laws and conflicts between lower courts regarding jurisdiction and rulings; Court of Cassation (CC) (consists of the court president and 550 judges organized in circuits with cases heard by panels of 5 judges); the CC is the highest appeals body for civil and criminal cases, also known as "ordinary justices"; Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) (consists of the court president and NA judges and organized in circuits with cases heard by panels of 5 judges); the SAC is the highest court of the State Council
judge selection and term of office: under the 2014 constitution, all judges and justices selected and appointed by the Supreme Judiciary Council and approved as a formality by the president of the Republic; judges appointed for life; under the 2019 amendments, the president has the power to appoint heads of judiciary authorities and courts, the prosecutor general, and the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court; this new power institutionalizes a process President ELSISI established by decree in 2017
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; courts of limited jurisdiction; Family Court (established in 2004)
Political parties and leaders

Democratic Union [Nitzan HOROWITZ] (alliance includes Democratic Israel, Meretz, Green Movement)
Joint List [Ayman ODEH] (alliance includes Hadash, Ta’al, United Arab List, Balad)
Kahol Lavan [Benny GANTZ] (alliance includes Israeli Resilience, Yesh Atid, Telem)
Labor-Gesher [Amir PERETZ]
Likud [Binyamin NETANYAHU]
Otzma Yehudit [Itamar BEN-GVIR]
United Torah Judaism, or UTJ [Yaakov LITZMAN] (alliance includes Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah)
Yamina [Ayelet SHAKED]
Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]
Zehut [Moshe FEIGLIN]

Al-Nour [Yunis MAKHYUN]
Arab Democratic Nasserist Party [Dr. Mohamed ABDUL ELLA ]
Congress Party [Omar Al-Mokhtar SEMIDA]
Conservative Party [Akmal KOURTAM]
Democratic Peace Party [Ahmed FADALY]
Egyptian National Movement Party [Gen. Raouf EL SAYED]
Egyptian Social Democratic Party [Farid ZAHRAN]
El Ghad Party [Moussa Mostafa MOUSSA]
El Serh El Masry el Hor [Tarek Ahmed Abbas NADIM]
Freedom Party [Salah HASSABALAH]
Free Egyptians Party [Essam KHALIL]
Homeland’s Protector Party [Lt. Gen. (retired) Galal AL-HARIDI]
Modern Egypt Party [Nabil DEIBIS]
Nation's Future Party (Mostaqbal Watan) [Mohamed Ashraf RASHAD]
My Homeland Egypt Party [Gen. Seif El Islam ABDEL BARY ]
National Progressive Unionist (Tagammu) Party [Sayed Abdel AAL]
Reform and Development Party [Mohamad Anwar al-SADAT]
Republican People’s Party [Hazim AMR]
Revolutionary Guards Party [Magdy EL-SHARIF]
Wafd Party [Bahaa ABU SHOKA]
International organization participation
BIS, 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
Diplomatic representation in the US
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
Ambassador Yasser REDA (since 19 September 2015)
chancery: 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 895-5400
FAX: [1] (202) 244-5131
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador David M. FRIEDMAN (since 23 May 2017)
telephone: [972] (2) 630-4000
embassy: David Flusser St.14, Jerusalem, 9378322

note: on 14 May 2018, the US Embassy relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv; on 4 March 2019, Consulate General Jerusalem merged into US Embassy Jerusalem to form a single diplomatic mission

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Thomas H. GOLDBERGER (since 30 June 2017)
telephone: [20-2] 2797-3300
embassy: 5 Tawfik Diab St., Garden City, Cairo
mailing address: Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900; 5 Tawfik Diab Street, Garden City, Cairo
FAX: [20-2] 2797-3200
Flag description
white 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 equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)

note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white band

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: "Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" (My Homeland, My Homeland, My Homeland)
lyrics/music: Younis-al QADI/Sayed DARWISH

note: adopted 1979; the current anthem, less militaristic than the previous one, was created after the signing of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel; Sayed DARWISH, commonly considered the father of modern Egyptian music, composed the anthem

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)
Star of David (Magen David), menorah (seven-branched lampstand); national colors: blue, white
golden eagle, white lotus; national colors: red, white, black
citizenship 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: if the father was born in Egypt
dual citizenship recognized: only with prior permission from the government
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


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 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 2.8% per year during the period 2014-17. 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 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 2018, 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.

Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley where most economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Agriculture, hydrocarbons, manufacturing, tourism, and other service sectors drove the country’s relatively diverse economic activity.

Despite Egypt’s mixed record for attracting foreign investment over the past two decades, poor living conditions and limited job opportunities have contributed to public discontent. These socioeconomic pressures were a major factor leading to the January 2011 revolution that ousted MUBARAK. The uncertain political, security, and policy environment since 2011 has restricted economic growth and failed to alleviate persistent unemployment, especially among the young.

In late 2016, persistent dollar shortages and waning aid from its Gulf allies led Cairo to turn to the IMF for a 3-year, $12 billion loan program. To secure the deal, Cairo floated its currency, introduced new taxes, and cut energy subsidies - all of which pushed inflation above 30% for most of 2017, a high that had not been seen in a generation. Since the currency float, foreign investment in Egypt’s high interest treasury bills has risen exponentially, boosting both dollar availability and central bank reserves. Cairo will be challenged to obtain foreign and local investment in manufacturing and other sectors without a sustained effort to implement a range of business reforms.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$317.1 billion (2017 est.)
$307 billion (2016 est.)
$295.3 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$1.204 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.155 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.107 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
3.3% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
4.2% (2017 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$36,400 (2017 est.)
$35,900 (2016 est.)
$35,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$12,700 (2017 est.)
$12,800 (2016 est.)
$12,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 2.4% (2017 est.)
industry: 26.5% (2017 est.)
services: 69.5% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 11.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 34.3% (2017 est.)
services: 54% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
22% (2014 est.) (2014 est.)

note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day

27.8% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 31.3% (2010)
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.2% (2017 est.)
-0.5% (2016 est.)
23.5% (2017 est.)
10.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force
4.021 million (2017 est.)
29.95 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 17.3%
services: 81.6% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 25.8%
industry: 25.1%
services: 49.1% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate
4.2% (2017 est.)
4.8% (2016 est.)
12.2% (2017 est.)
12.7% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
42.8 (2013)
39.2 (2008)
31.8 (2015)
29.8 (2012)
revenues: 93.11 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 100.2 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 42.32 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 62.61 billion (2017 est.)
high-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
textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures
Industrial production growth rate
3.5% (2017 est.)
3.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats
$58.67 billion (2017 est.)
$56.17 billion (2016 est.)
$23.3 billion (2017 est.)
$20.02 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
crude oil and petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, processed food
Exports - partners
US 28.8%, UK 8.2%, Hong Kong 7%, China 5.4%, Belgium 4.5% (2017)
UAE 10.9%, Italy 10%, US 7.4%, UK 5.7%, Turkey 4.4%, Germany 4.3%, India 4.3% (2017)
$68.61 billion (2017 est.)
$63.9 billion (2016 est.)
$59.78 billion (2017 est.)
$57.84 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
Imports - partners
US 11.7%, China 9.5%, Switzerland 8%, Germany 6.8%, UK 6.2%, Belgium 5.9%, Netherlands 4.2%, Turkey 4.2%, Italy 4% (2017)
China 7.9%, UAE 5.2%, Germany 4.8%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%, US 4.4%, Russia 4.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$88.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$87.96 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$77.47 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$62.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
new Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -
3.606 (2017 est.)
3.8406 (2016 est.)
3.8406 (2015 est.)
3.8869 (2014 est.)
3.5779 (2013 est.)
Egyptian pounds (EGP) per US dollar -
18.05 (2017 est.)
8.8 (2016 est.)
10.07 (2015 est.)
7.7133 (2014 est.)
7.08 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
1 July - 30 June
Public debt
60.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
62.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
103% of GDP (2017 est.)
96.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt and include 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 intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$113 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$95.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$35.89 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$23.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
$10.12 billion (2017 est.)
$11.94 billion (2016 est.)
-$14.92 billion (2017 est.)
-$19.83 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$350.7 billion (2017 est.)
$236.5 billion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$129.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$107.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$106.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$97.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$100.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$98.11 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.426 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.257 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
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.)
$27.35 billion (30 December 2016 est.)
$25.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.33 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate
0.1% (15 December 2015)
0.25% (31 December 2014)
19.25% (9 July 2017)
15.25% (3 November 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
3.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.42% (31 December 2016 est.)
18.18% (31 December 2017 est.)
13.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$290.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$257.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$193.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$178.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$100.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$79.58 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$43.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$34.51 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$100.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$79.58 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$43.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$34.51 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
26.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
17.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-8.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 7.3%
male: 6.7%
female: 7.8% (2017 est.)
total: 29.6%
male: 25.7%
female: 38.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 55.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 22.8% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 20.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 28.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -27.5% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 86.8% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 10.1% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 14.8% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 16.3% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -28.5% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
23.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
25% of GDP (2015 est.)
9% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
10.6% of GDP (2015 est.)


Electricity - production
63.09 billion kWh (2016 est.)
183.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
55 billion kWh (2016 est.)
159.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
5.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
1.158 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
54 million kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
390 bbl/day (2018 est.)
639,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
231,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
64,760 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
246,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
12.73 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
4.4 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
176 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
2.186 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
9.826 billion cu m (2017 est.)
50.86 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
9.995 billion cu m (2017 est.)
57.71 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
212.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
509.7 million cu m (2017 est.)
7.079 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
17.59 million kW (2016 est.)
45.12 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
95% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
91% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
294,300 bbl/day (2017 est.)
547,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
242,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)
878,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
111,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)
47,360 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
98,860 bbl/day (2017 est.)
280,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
73.82 million Mt (2017 est.)
232.7 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)


Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 3.24 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 6,604,849
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (2017 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 10.54 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 127 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 102,958,194
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (2017 est.)
Telephone system
general assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East; mobile broadband 100% population penetration; consumers enjoy inexpensive 3G services; 4G cellular service; fixed broadband available to 99% of all households (2019)
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; fixed-line 39 per 100 and 127 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2019)
international: country code - 972; landing points for the MedNautilus Submarine System, Tameres North, Jonah and Lev Submarine System 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) (2019)
general assessment: one of the largest fixed-line systems in Africa and the Arab region; 4 mobile-cellular networks (3 international and 1 local) cover most populated area of Egypt; Telecom Egypt, the country's only fixed-line operator, is 80% state owned; principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta are connected by coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; launch of LTE in late 2017 greatly helped the capabilities of mobile broadband services and will continue to do so for future development (2018)
domestic: fixed-line 8 per 100, mobile-cellular 101 per 100 (2018)
international: country code - 20; landing point for Aletar, Africa-1, FEA, Hawk, IMEWE, and the SEA-ME-WE-3 & 4 submarine cable networks linking to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia ; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat); tropospheric scatter to Sudan; microwave radio relay to Israel; a participant in Medarabtel (2019)
Internet country code
Internet users
total: 6,521,539
percent of population: 79.8% (July 2016 est.)
total: 39,097,468
percent of population: 41.3% (2016 est.)
Broadcast media
the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (est 2015) broadcasts on 3 channels, two in Hebrew and the other in Arabic; multi-channel satellite and cable TV packages provide access to foreign channels; the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation 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 (2019)
mix of state-run and private broadcast media; state-run TV operates 2 national and 6 regional terrestrial networks, as well as a few satellite channels; dozens of private satellite channels and a large number of Arabic satellite channels are available for free; some limited satellite services are also available via subscription; state-run radio operates about 30 stations belonging to 8 networks; privately-owned radio includes 8 major stations, 4 of which belong to 1 network (2019)


total: 1,384 km (2014)
standard gauge: 1,384 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 5,085 km (2014)
standard gauge: 5,085 km 1.435-m gauge (62 km electrified) (2014)
total: 19,555 km (2017)
paved: 19,555 km (includes 449 km of expressways) (2017)
total: 65,050 km (2017)
paved: 48,000 km (2017)
unpaved: 17,050 km (2017)
763 km gas, 442 km oil, 261 km refined products (2013)
486 km condensate, 74 km condensate/gas, 7986 km gas, 957 km liquid petroleum gas, 5225 km oil, 37 km oil/gas/water, 895 km refined products, 65 km water (2013)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa
container port(s) (TEUs): Ashdod (1,443,000) (2016)
major seaport(s): Mediterranean Sea - Alexandria, Damietta, El Dekheila, Port Said
oil terminal(s): Ain Sukhna terminal, Sidi Kerir terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Alexandria (1,613,000), Port Said (East) (2,968,308) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Damietta, Idku (Abu Qir Bay)
Gulf of Suez - Suez
Merchant marine
total: 42
by type: container ship 5, general cargo 5, oil tanker 3, other 29 (2018)
total: 389
by type: bulk carrier 14, container ship 8, general cargo 33, oil tanker 36, other 298 (2018)
total: 47 (2013)
total: 83 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 29 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 11 (2017)
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
total: 72 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 15 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 36 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15 (2017)
under 914 m: 6 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 18 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
total: 11 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
3 (2013)
7 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 6 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 60 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,064,478 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 758,633,996 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 14 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 101 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 10,159,464 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 397,531,535 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
4X (2016)
SU (2016)


Military branches
Israel Defense Forces (IDF); Ground Forces, Israel Naval Force (IN, includes commandos), Israel Air Force (IAF, includes air defense) (2019)
Egyptian Armed Forces: Army (includes surface-to-surface missile forces, special forces, Republican Guard), Navy (includes coastal defense, Coast Guard), Air Force, Air Defense Command; Ministry of Interior: Central Security Forces (2019)
Military service age and obligation
18 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 about 24 months for enlisted women (varies based on military occupation), 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9-year service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), age 24 (women) (2015)
18-30 years of age for male conscript military service; service obligation - 18-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation; voluntary enlistment possible from age 15 (2017)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
5.1% of GDP (2017)
5.3% of GDP (2016)
5.3% of GDP (2015)
5.6% of GDP (2014)
5.6% of GDP (2013)
1.25% of GDP (2018)
1.42% of GDP (March 2017)
1.67% of GDP (2016)
1.72% of GDP (2015)
1.69% of GDP (2014)

Transnational Issues

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-controlled (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

Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary; Egypt no longer shows its administration of the Bir Tawil trapezoid in Sudan on its maps; Gazan breaches in the security wall with Egypt in January 2008 highlight difficulties in monitoring the Sinai border; Saudi Arabia claims Egyptian-administered islands of Tiran and Sanafir

Illicit drugs
increasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center
transit point for cannabis, heroin, and opium moving to Europe, Israel, and North Africa; transit stop for Nigerian drug couriers; concern as money laundering site due to lax enforcement of financial regulations
Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 14,516 (Eritrea) (2018), 7,857 (Ukraine) (2019)
stateless persons: 42 (2018)
refugees (country of origin): 70,021 (West Bank and Gaza Strip) (2017); 129,779 (Syria) (refugees and asylum seekers), 46,177 (Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 18,004 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 17,514 (Eritrea) (refugees and asylum seekers), 16,210 (Ethiopia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 6,903 (Somalia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 6,752 (Iraq) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2019)
IDPs: 97,000 (2018)

Source: CIA Factbook