22,145 sq km (8550 sq miles; includes East Jerusalem and the Golan sub-district).
269.6 per sq km.
Jerusalem. Population: (including East Jerusalem) 801,000 (2012). The Israeli government has designated Jerusalem as the capital, although this is not recognised by the UN, and most foreign embassies are based in Tel Aviv.
Israel is on the eastern Mediterranean, bordered by Lebanon and Syria to the north, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the south. The autonomous Palestinian Authority Region lies mostly on the west bank of the River Jordan; part of the Gaza strip, in the south of the country, is also administered by the Palestinians. The country stretches southwards through the Negev Desert to Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea. The fertile Plain of Sharon runs along the coast, while inland, parallel to the coast, is a range of hills and uplands with fertile valleys to the west and arid desert to the east. The Great Rift Valley begins beyond the sources of the River Jordan and extends south through the Dead Sea (the lowest point in the world), into the Red Sea, continuing on into Eastern Africa.
Hebrew is the official language. Arabic is spoken by around 15% of the population. English is spoken in most places and other languages, including Russian, Romanian, French, Spanish, German, Yiddish, Polish and Hungarian are widely used.
81% Jewish, 14% Muslim, with Christian, Druze and other minorities.
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from March to September).
220 volts AC, 50Hz. 3-pin plugs are standard; if needed, adaptors can be purchased in Israel.
Full IDD service. Country code: 972. Outgoing international code: 00. Local telephone directories are in Hebrew, but there is a special English-language version for tourists.
This service is widely available.
Facilities are available to guests in most deluxe hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and in main post offices.
Airmail to Europe takes up to a week. There are Poste Restante facilities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Post office hours may vary but are generally: Sun-Tues and Thurs 0800-1200 and 1530-1830, Wed 0800-1330 and Fri 0800-1200. All post offices are closed on Shabbat (Saturday) and holy days, although central telegraph offices are open throughout the year.