State of Israel

Medinat Yisrael (Hebrew)

Dawlat Israil (Arabic)

Note: On November 13, 2012, Israel launched a series of air strikes against a number of targets in Gaza in what Israeli officials described as a response to an increase in rocket attacks into Israel in recent months. The initial air strikes killed a top Hamas military commander and some 11 other Palestinians and prompted retaliatory rocket and missile attacks from Gaza. More than 160 Palestinians and some 8 Israelis reportedly died in the subsequent eight-day conflict, which ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that precluded a possible Israeli ground offensive.

Political Status: Independent republic established May 14, 1948; under multiparty parliamentary regime.

Area: 8,463 sq. mi. (21,920 sq. km), including inland water (172 sq. mi., 445 sq. km).

Population: 7,924,052 (2012E—UN); ...

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