Essential Info for Israel

Official name: State of Israel

Population: Over 8.5 million

Capital city: Jerusalem 

Neighbouring countries: Israel is bordered by Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south, Jordan to the east, Lebanon to the north and Syria to the northeast. Israel is also bordered by Palestinian territories, including the West Bank to the east and the Gaza strip close to the northernmost border between the Egypt and Israel. Israel's western border is a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Geography: Despite its small size, Israel has a diverse geography. A fertile coastal plain borders the Mediterranean Sea, while a series of valleys run the length of the country, from the hilly ranges in the north to the arid, desert landscape of southern Israel. 

Political system: Parliamentary democracy

Major religions: Israel is the world’s only officially Jewish state, with Judaism being the dominant religion among its population. Islam is the second largest religion in Israel, largely a result of the country’s Arab population.

Main languages: The official languages of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic; however, English is prominent in tourist and business centres.

Money: The currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS), which is divided into 100 agorot (the singular is agora). It is fairly easy for expats working in Israel to open a bank account, and there are numerous ATMs in and around the country’s urban centres.

Time: GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)

Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin 'M-type' plugs, European 'C-type' two-pin plugs and Israel-specific 'H-type' three-pin plugs are common.

International dialling code: +972 

Internet domain: .il

Emergency numbers: 100 (police), 101 (ambulance), 102 (fire)

Transport and driving: Israel has a highly developed public transport system, so expats should not experience much difficulty getting around the country. Cars in Israel drive on the right side of the road.