Israel Is A Small Democracy At The Eastern End Of The Mediterranean

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Israel is a small democracy at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, with a 2016 population of 8.17 million, of which, 74.8 percent is Jewish; most of the rest of Israel 's population is Arab. The term "Arab" denotes persons descended from tribes inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula or persons speaking the Arabic language. By this definition, there are about 250 million Arabs worldwide, most found in the group of countries occupying North Africa and the western part of the Middle East. Most Arabs are Muslims, but a significant minority (about 10 percent) in the Arab Middle East are Christians, and some are secular (profess no religion).

Most Israelis and many non-Israeli Jews, as well as other supporters of Israel worldwide, see Israel as
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Israel then declared its independence on 14 May 1948; it was quickly recognized by the United States, the Soviet Union, and many other countries. The new nation of Israel was also immediately attacked by neighboring Arab states. Israel prevailed in the conflict and, in the process, secured more territory for itself than had been stipulated under the UN partition plan. More than seven hundred thousand Palestinians remained displaced after the war, and were considered refugees. They settled in camps in nearby Arab nations.

Central to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict is the question of Palestinian statehood. Palestinians refer to their departure from Israel as the nakba or “disaster.” The refugees and their descendants, the Palestinians, today reside in the coastal Gaza Strip to Israel 's south and along the west bank of the Jordan River, to Israel 's east.

In 1949, the UN arranged a ceasefire in Israel, setting a boundary around it known as the Green Line. In 1967, during the Six-Day War fought between Israel and the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, Israel 's victory enabled it to extend its borders beyond the Green Line, into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and begin building settlements there. These areas are known as the Occupied Territories. Many Palestinians, Arabs, and others view the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Territories as having as its ultimate goal the
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