Location: A Republic in the Middle East (West Asia), Israel is surrounded on three sides by Arab countries. It occupies a minor portion of the ancient Palestine.
History: On November 29, 1947, the UN partitioned Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. A new Zionist state called Israel was proclaimed in the Jewish area of Palestine on May 15, 1948. Arabs make up about one-sixth of Israel's population. Neighbouring Arab States invaded Israel. At the ceasefire in January 1949, Israel had increased its territory by one-third. Thee have been conflicts with Egypt in the 1956. Suez crisis, the 1967 'Six-Day War' which let Israel in possession of the Gaza strip, the West Bank (of the River Jordan) and the Sinai Peninsula. Negotiations between Israel and Egypt began in 1978 (Camp David, USA). A peace treaty was signed in March 1979. Israel withdrew from Sinai by April 1982.
On August 30, 1993, limited Palestinian autonomy was approved by Israel, in a step towards ending 26 years of military control over occupied territories. Israel was to withdraw from Gaza strip and Jericho. On September 13, the historic accord between PLO and Israel was singed in Washington for limited Palestinian self0reule in Gaza and West Bank. Israel and Jordan signed (July '94) a declaration ending 46-year state of war, Israeli-PLO agreement of August 1995 expanded Palestinian self-rule in West Bank.
Under an accord of October 98, Israel yielded more West Bank territory to Palestinians in exchange for new security guarantees. In June 1999, Israel announced plans to extend Jerusalem municipal authority over nearby Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Palestinians called it a 'de facto annexation'. In September Israel and palest anis signed an agreement providing for the implementation of the Wye Memorandum.
On May 25, 2003 Israeli cabinet approved plan for a Palestinian state by 2005 as per the US-backed peace 'road map' Strong disagreement arose in July between Israel and Palestinian Authority over the number of Palestinian prisoners Israel was prepared to release. Israel went ahead with building the controversial security fence that divides Israel and Palestinian areas. Hamas leader Abu Shanab was killed by Israel. Hoe for the road map was shattered. In Set., Israel said it was prepared to 'remove' Arafat.
Agriculture: Israel has developed both agriculture and industry in the little land allotted to it with considerable expertise and efficiency. Hey have literally made the deserts bloom. Kibbutzim (collective cultivation), irrigation schemes and reclamation of desert-land formed the main feature of agricultural development. Citrus fruits are the main exports. Wine-making is an extensive industry. In diamond-cutting, Israel come next only to Belgium.
Industries: Other industries are textiles, electronics, machinery, processed foods and chemicals.
Gaza Strip: Area - 363 sq. km; Pop: 1, 054, 200. Agreements between Israel and PLO in 1993 and 94 provided for interim self-rule in Gaza Israel is in control of security, while Palestinian authority is responsible for civil Govt. Most inhabitants are Palestinian Arabs.
West Bank: Area: 5,879 sq. km; Pop: 1, 557,000. Palestinian Authority administers several major cities, but Israel retains control over much land. In 94, Jericho was given to Palestinian control. Self-rule was expanded in 95. In 97, there was agreement on partial pullout from Hebron.
Mission in India:
Embassy of Israel
3, Aurangzeb Road
New Delhi - 110 011, India
Tel: 91 - 11 - 2301 3238
Fax: 91 - 11 - 2301 4298
Indian Mission in Israel:
Embassy of India
4, Kaufman Street
PO Box. No. 50095
Tel Aviv 68012, Israel
Tel: 00 - 972 - 3 - 5101431
Fax: 00 - 972 - 3 - 5101434