General information about Israel
The official name is the State of Israel. Located in the southwestern part of Asia. The area is 21,671 km2, the population is 6.03 million people. (2002). The official language is Hebrew. The Embassy of the Russian Federation is located in Tel Aviv (358.8 thousand people, 2001). Public holiday – Independence Day 5 Iyar according to the Jewish calendar (since 1948). The currency is the new Israeli shekel.
Member of the UN (since 1949), associate member of the EU and EFTA.
Geography of Israel
Located between 34° and 36° east longitude and 29° and 33° north latitude. From the west it is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, in the southeast it has access to the Red Sea. The length of the coastline is 273 km, the coastline is slightly indented. In the east it borders with Jordan, in the north with Lebanon, in the northeast with Syria, in the southwest with Egypt. Most of the surface of Israel is a high plateau (mainly 600-1000 m) with separate low areas.
According to allcitycodes, the country can be conditionally divided into five topographic zones: the heights of the Galilee, the Esdraelon Valley, the Samaria and Judean hills, the coastal plains, and the Negev desert. In the zone of Galilee are the highest point of Israel – Mount Meron (1208 m) and Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee).
There are four geographical regions in the country: three narrow parallel strips from north to south and a wide, mostly waterless zone in the southern half.
The bowels of the country contain reserves of copper, phosphorites, sulfur, manganese, limestone, marble, and minor reserves of natural gas and oil. The water of the Dead Sea contains potassium salts and bromine. The most common soils are gray soils and brown desert-steppe soils; on the coast, subtropical red soils.
The climate of Israel is very diverse, ranging from temperate to tropical, but mostly subtropical Mediterranean. It rains in winter, the remaining 7 months are the dry summer season. The rainiest region is the Upper Galilee, the driest: the southern Negev and the Arava valley. The hottest areas are the Jordan Valley, the coast of the Galilee, the Beit Shean Valley, the shores of the Dead Sea and the Arava Valley. The Mediterranean strip is distinguished by wet summers and mild winters, while mountainous regions have dry summers and moderately cold winters. In the Ghor depression and in the extreme south of Israel, the climate is hotter and drier.
The average temperature in January is +7°С—12°С, the hottest month of August is +23°С—30°С. The amount of precipitation varies from 1000 mm per year in the north of the country to 25-30 mm in the extreme south.
The territory of Israel is very poor in surface water. Most streams dry up in summer. The only river that constantly contains water is the Jordan. In Israel, it is part of the Jordan River. Within Israel are lakes Hum, Tiberias and the southwestern part of the Dead Sea.
The flora is extremely diverse. There are 2800 plant species. Most of them (about 1500) are found in the Mediterranean vegetation region: from the northern borders to Gaza in the south and from the Mediterranean to the Jordan Valley. The natural forest has been preserved only in a few places in Galilee, Samaria, the Judean mountains and in the Carmel massif. It includes Jerusalem pine, Tavor and Kallipri oak, wild olive, pistachio tree. Some olive trees are over a thousand years old. In the upper Galilee and Carmel, where there is more rainfall, laurel and oak, strawberry and Judas trees, sycamore and Syrian maple grow. In the Negev, wherever there is groundwater, date palms grow.
The fauna of the country is also very diverse. More than 10,000 species of invertebrates alone, 80 species of reptiles, 380 species of birds (together with migrants – 600 species) have been registered. Of the songbirds, nightingales, sylvias, kinglets constantly live in the country, of predatory birds – eagles, hawks, falcons. In the mountains there are gazelles, goats, in the forests – wild cats, foxes, in the desert rocks – Nubian ibexes with huge curved horns. Hyenas and jackals are sometimes found in forests and deserts.