The state of Israel is located at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe, on the Levant coast of the Mediterranean. There, a growing population from diverse societies converges in a slice of land the size of New Jersey. Territorial acquisitions and disengagements as a result of wars and treaties have altered the size of the Jewish state since its formal inception in 1948: Sinai (1952–59, 1973–79), Judea and Samariah (1967-present), Golan Heights (1973-present), southern Lebanon (1978, 1982–2000), Gaza Strip (1973–2005), and east Jerusalem (1967-present). Despite its tumultuous history, Israel has steadily developed to become the 41st-largest global economy in 2010, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $217 billion. Approximately 7 percent of its GDP ($15 billion) was spent on education.

Prior to Israel's independence, ...

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