Middle East / Africa

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Summary | Profile

Country profile: Israel

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
Terrain: Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
Size: 20770 sq. km total (Land area: 20330 sq. km  Water area: 440 sq.km)
Population: 7,112,359
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Government: parliamentary democracy
Capital city: Jerusalem
Legal system: mixture of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985, Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: new Israeli shekel (ILS); note - NIS is the curren

Country profile

Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.

On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords") guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace.

In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In April 2003, US President BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, and Russia - the "Quartet" - took the lead in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. An Israeli-Palestinian agreement reached at Sharm al-Sheikh in February 2005, along with an internally-brokered Palestinian ceasefire, significantly reduced the violence. In the summer of 2005, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip.

The election of HAMAS in January 2006 to head the Palestinian Legislative Council froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Ehud OLMERT became prime minister in March 2006; following an Israeli military operation in Gaza in June-July 2006 and a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006, he shelved plans to unilaterally evacuate from most of the West Bank. OLMERT in June 2007 resumed talks with the PA after HAMAS seized control of the Gaza Strip and PA President Mahmoud ABBAS formed a new government without HAMAS.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 100 bbl/day (2006 est.) 709 million cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 249,500 bbl/day (2006 est.) 709 million cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 75,980 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 315,200 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Reserves: 2 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.) 37 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Major fields:

Israel - recent news

04 Jun 24
Israel: Zion Oil & Gas announces start of recompletion operations for the MJ-01 well in Israel
Zion Oil & Gas has announced the start of recompletion operations for the MJ-01 well in Israel. The recompletion operations, involving a comprehensive work plan approved by the Israeli Ministry of Energy, are set to proceed through Q3 2024.
29 Feb 24
Israel: Karish North and second gas export riser online and new GSPA signed
Energean reports that Karish North first gas was safely achieved on 22 February 2024. The Karish North production well is currently utilising the second gas export riser, the installation of which was completed in December 2023. The Energean Power FPSO now has four production wells in operation.
20 Feb 24
Israel: Partners in Israel's Tamar gas field agree to further expand production
The partners in Israel's Tamar natural gas field have agreed to expand production at the offshore site, which is a major energy source for Israel and also supplies Egypt and Jordan.
30 Oct 23
Israel: Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure announces results for two zones in the 4th Offshore Bid Round
Israel's Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has announced the results of two Zones within the 4th Offshore Bid Round (OBR4) for natural gas exploration in Israel's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
16 Oct 23
Israel: Genesis Wind, Israel's largest renewable energy project, has commenced commercial operations
Enlight Renewable Energy, a leading renewable energy platform, has announced the start of commercial operations at Genesis Wind, the largest renewable energy project in Israel.

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