Israel

The Merneptah Stele (13th century BCE). The majority of biblical archeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as "Israel," the first instance of the name in the record.
The Large Stone Structure, an archaeological site in Jerusalem
Map of Israel and Judah in the 9th century BCE
Portion of the Temple Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written during the Second Temple period
Kfar Bar'am, an ancient Jewish village, abandoned some time between the 7th–13th centuries CE.
The 13th-century Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem
Jews at the Western Wall in the 1870s
The First Zionist Congress (1897) in Basel, Switzerland
UN Map, "Palestine plan of partition with economic union"
Territory held by Israel: The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1982.
Israel's 1980 law declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel."
Shimon Peres (left) with Yitzhak Rabin (center) and King Hussein of Jordan (right), prior to signing the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994.
The site of the 2001 Tel Aviv Dolphinarium discotheque massacre, in which 21 Israelis were killed.
Köppen climate classification map of Israel and the Golan Heights
Population pyramid of Israel
Immigration to Israel in the years 1948–2015. The two peaks were in 1949 and 1990.
Road sign in Hebrew, Arabic, and English
The Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall, Jerusalem.
Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University
Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Knesset chamber, home to the Israeli parliament
Political system of state of Israel
Supreme Court of Israel, Givat Ram, Jerusalem
Map of Israel showing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights
Israeli West Bank barrier separating Israel and the West Bank
Area C of the West Bank, controlled by Israel under Oslo Accords, in blue and red, in December 2011
Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat at the signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords with then US President Bill Clinton
Squad commanders exercise at Eliakim training base in 2012
Iron Dome is the world's first operational anti-artillery rocket defense system.
Change in per capita GDP of Israel since 1950. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
The Diamond Exchange District in Ramat Gan
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Its building is optimized for computer trading, with systems located in an underground bunker to keep the exchange active during emergencies.
Matam high-tech park in Haifa
The world's largest solar parabolic dish at the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center.
Ben Gurion International Airport
Ein Bokek resort on the shore of the Dead Sea
Shmuel Yosef Agnon, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta
Shrine of the Book, repository of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem
A meal including falafel, hummus, French fries and Israeli salad
Teddy Stadium of Jerusalem
Boris Gelfand, chess Grandmaster

Country in Western Asia.

- Israel

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Netanyahu in 2019

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021.

Israeli politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021.

Netanyahu in 2019
Netanyahu studied at MIT between 1972 and 1976, earning SB and SM degrees.
Netanyahu (right) with Sorin Hershko, a soldier wounded and permanently paralyzed in Operation Entebbe, 2 July 1986
Netanyahu's first meeting with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the Erez crossing, 4 September 1996
Netanyahu sitting with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the Wye River Memorandum, 1998
Prime Minister Netanyahu, with his son, at the Western Wall in 1998.
Netanyahu in a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in Russia, 24 March 2011
Netanyahu with Yohanan Danino, appointed Israel's Chief of Police in 2011
Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton, George J. Mitchell and Mahmoud Abbas at the start of the direct talks, 2 September 2010
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Netanyahu, Jerusalem, 23 July 2014
Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Netanyahu, Joseph Dunford and Jewish veterans of the Red Army, Victory Day in Jerusalem, 9 May 2017
Netanyahu meets with President Donald Trump in Jerusalem, May 2017
Netanyahu meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, 24 January 2018
President Trump, joined by Netanyahu behind, signs the proclamation recognizing Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, March 2019
Israelis protest against Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on 30 July 2020
Netanyahu's motorcade departs the Prime Minister's residence on the early morning of July 11, 2021, a month after his ouster as Prime Minister.
Netanyahu at a memorial service of Ethiopian Israeli immigrants, in honor of their friends who died on their way to Israel.
One of Netanyahu's campaign posters during the 2009 Israeli legislative elections reading "Strong in security. Strong in economy."
White House Abraham Accords signing ceremony on 15 September 2020
Netanyahu publicly supported the Trump peace plan for the creation of the State of Palestine.
Standing with Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, Netanyahu holds an Iranian instruction manual for the anti-ship missile captured in Victoria Affair, March 2011
Protest against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, Tehran, 11 December 2017
Israelis in Ashkelon run for shelter following a missile alert during Operation Protective Edge
Benjamin Netanyahu at the grave of his brother Yoni Netanyahu, who was killed leading a counter-terrorist operation in 1976
Netanyahu lighting Hanukkah candles on the first night in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem with his wife, Sara and their sons, Yair and Avner, 1996
Netanyahu and Barack Obama
Netanyahu and Donald Trump during the signing of the Abraham Accords on 15 September 2020
Netanyahu with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Jerusalem, 31 March 2019

Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to a Jewish family.

Egypt

Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

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Temple of Derr ruins in 1960
The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Egyptian soldier of the Achaemenid army, c. 480 BCE. Xerxes I tomb relief.
The Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera
The Amr ibn al-As mosque in Cairo, recognized as the oldest in Africa
The Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, of Ahmad Ibn Tulun
The Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth caliph, as renovated by Dawoodi Bohra
Napoleon defeated the Mamluk troops in the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, painted by Lejeune.
Egypt under Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali was the founder of the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the first Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
The battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War
Female nationalists demonstrating in Cairo, 1919
Fuad I of Egypt with Edward, Prince of Wales, 1932
British infantry near El Alamein, 17 July 1942
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Mansoura, 1960
Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Egypt, 5 November 1956.
Egyptian tanks advancing in the Sinai desert during the Yom Kippur War, 1973
Celebrating the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat
Cairo grew into a metropolitan area with a population of over 20 million.
Women in Cairo wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt in March 2020.
Egypt's topography
The Qattara Depression in Egypt's north west
The Eastern Imperial Eagle is the national animal of Egypt.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the current President of Egypt.
Egyptian honor guard soldiers during a visit of U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
President el-Sisi with US President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017
The High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo
Protesters from the Third Square movement, which supported neither the former Morsi government nor the Armed Forces, 31 July 2013
Prominent Egyptian dissident Alaa Abd El-Fattah was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in December 2021.
1. Matrouh
2. Alexandria
3. Beheira
4. Kafr El Sheikh
5. Dakahlia
6. Damietta
7. Port Said
8. North Sinai
9. Gharbia
10. Monufia
11. Qalyubia
12. Sharqia
13. Ismailia
14. Giza
15. Faiyum
16. Cairo
17. Suez
18. South Sinai
19. Beni Suef
20. Minya
21. New Valley
22. Asyut
23. Red Sea
24. Sohag
25. Qena
26. Luxor
27. Aswan
Change in per capita GDP of Egypt, 1820–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
Smart Village, a business district established in 2001 to facilitate the growth of high-tech businesses
The Suez Canal
Tourists riding an Arabian camel in front of Pyramid of Khafre. The Giza Necropolis is one of Egypt's main tourist attractions.
An offshore platform in the Darfeel Gas Field
The Cairo Metro (line 2)
The Suez Canal Bridge
Green irrigated land along the Nile amidst the desert and in the delta
Egypt's population density (people per km2)
St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria
Cairo University
Egyptian literacy rate among the population aged 15 years and older by UNESCO Institute of Statistics
Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt
Al-Azhar Park is listed as one of the world's sixty great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces.
The "weighing of the heart" scene from the Book of the Dead
Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
Salah Zulfikar, film star
Soad Hosny, film star
Tanoura dancers performing in Wekalet El Ghoury, Cairo
The Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Tutankhamun's burial mask is one of the major attractions of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
Kushari, one of Egypt's national dishes
A crowd at Cairo Stadium watching the Egypt national football team

It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip (Palestine) and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west.

Sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah

Druze

Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia, who adhere to a faith that originally developed out of Ismaili Islam although most Druze do not identify as Muslims.

Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia, who adhere to a faith that originally developed out of Ismaili Islam although most Druze do not identify as Muslims.

Sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Druze woman wearing a tantour during the 1870s in Chouf, Ottoman Lebanon
Meeting of Druze and Ottoman leaders in Damascus, about the control of Jebel Druze
Druze warriors preparing to go to battle with Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in 1925
Druze celebrating their independence in 1925.
Druze leaders meeting in Jebel al-Druze, Syria, 1926
Prophet Job shrine in Niha village in the Chouf region.
Israeli Druze Scouts march to Jethro's tomb. Today, thousands of Israeli Druze belong to such "Druze Zionist" movements.
Druze dignitaries celebrating the Nabi Shu'ayb festival at the tomb of the prophet in Hittin, Israel.
Druze clerics in Khalwat al-Bayada.
The Druze Maqam al-nabi Yahya (John the Baptist) in As-Suwayda Governorate.
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Jethro shrine and temple of Druze in Hittin, northern Israel
Druze Prayer house in Daliat al-Karmel, Israel
Druze sheikh (ʻuqqāl) wearing religious dress
Israeli Druze family visitng Gamla; wearing religious dress.
Druze women making Druze pita in Isfiya, Israel.
Qalb Loze: in June 2015, Druze were massacred there by the jihadist Nusra Front.
Shuaib (Jethro) grave near Hittin, Israel: Both religions venerate Shuaib.
Christian Church and Druze Khalwa in Shuf: Historically; the Druzes and the Christians in the Shuf Mountains lived in complete harmony.
Left to right: Christian mountain dweller from Zahlé, Christian mountain dweller of Zgharta, and a Lebanese Druze man in traditional attire (1873).
The Druze Maqam Al-Masih (Jesus) in As-Suwayda Governorate: Both religions revere Jesus.
Maqam Al-Khidr in Kafr Yasif.
Oliphant house in Daliyat al-Karmel.

They are found primarily in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, with small communities in Jordan.

Judaica (clockwise from top): Shabbat candlesticks, handwashing cup, Chumash and Tanakh, Torah pointer, shofar and etrog box

Judaism

Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people.

Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people.

Judaica (clockwise from top): Shabbat candlesticks, handwashing cup, Chumash and Tanakh, Torah pointer, shofar and etrog box
Maccabees by Wojciech Stattler (1842)
A painting of Moses decorates the Dura-Europos synagogue dating from 244 CE
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is a remnant of the wall encircling the Second Temple. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.
Kennicott Bible, a 1476 Spanish Tanakh
Aleppo Codex, a Tanakh produced in Tiberias in the 10th century
A man holds up a Sephardi-style torah at the Western Wall, Jerusalem
Statue of Maimonides in Córdoba, Spain
Conservative women rabbis, Israel
El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia
Beta Israeli Kahen at the Western Wall
A Yemenite Jew at morning prayers, wearing a kippah skullcap, prayer shawl and tefillin
An Israeli female soldier prays at the Western Wall
Jewish boys wearing tzitzit and kippot play soccer in Jerusalem
Men wearing tallitot pray at the Western Wall
Two braided Shabbat challahs placed under an embroidered challah cover at the start of the Shabbat meal
Jews in Mumbai break the Yom Kippur fast with roti and samosas
Purim street scene in Jerusalem
Jewish personnel of the US Navy light candles on Hanukkah
A man reads a torah using a yad
The Sarajevo Synagogue in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Great Synagogue (Jerusalem)
Congregation Emanu-El of New York
18th-century circumcision chair Museum of Jewish Art and History
Two boys wearing tallit at a bar mitzvah. The torah is visible in the foreground.
The Bereavement (Yahrtzeit) Hasidic tish, Bnei Brak, Israel
Jewish students with their teacher in Samarkand, Uzbekistan c. 1910.
Magen David Synagogue in Kolkata, India
A Yemeni sofer writing a torah in the 1930s
Judaism is practiced around the world. This is an 1889 siddur published in Hebrew and Marathi for use by the Bene Israel community
The 12th century Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca in Toledo, Spain was converted to a church shortly after anti-Jewish pogroms in 1391
Muslim women in the mellah of Essaouira
The bimah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt

Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to halakha (Jewish law), the authority of the rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the State of Israel.

Yasser Arafat awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, in December 1994

Yasser Arafat

Palestinian political leader.

Palestinian political leader.

Yasser Arafat awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, in December 1994
Arafat with Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader, Nayef Hawatmeh and Palestinian writer Kamal Nasser at press conference in Amman, 1970
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (center) mediating an agreement between Arafat and Jordanian King Hussein to end to the Black September conflict, during the emergency Arab League summit, September 1970
Yasser Arafat visits East Germany in 1971; background: Brandenburg Gate
Yasser Arafat with Bhim Singh, founder of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, in the 1970s.
Arafat in a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon, 1978
Arafat with Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (center) and PFLP leader George Habash (right) in Syria, 1980
Arafat with Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, days after Iranian Revolution
Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Arafat during the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993
Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat receiving the Nobel Peace Prize following the Oslo Accords
Arafat with PNA cabinet members Yasser Abed Rabbo (left) and Nabil Shaath (right) at a meeting in Copenhagen, 1999
Arafat with Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David Summit, 2000
Arafat's "temporary" tomb in Ramallah, 2004
Honour guard at attention over Yasser Arafat's tombstone in mausoleum, opened 10 November 2007 at the PNA presidential headquarters in Ramallah
Arafat mausoleum

Opposed to the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, he fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

2018 United Nations OCHA map of the area, showing Israeli occupation arrangements

East Jerusalem

Sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel.

Sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel.

2018 United Nations OCHA map of the area, showing Israeli occupation arrangements
East Jerusalem zoning
Map of East Jerusalem. The Arab areas are coloured green, while the Jewish areas are blue.
William McLean's 1918 plan was the first urban planning scheme for Jerusalem. It laid the foundations for what became West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem.
Old Roman era gate beneath the Damascus Gate (Bab al-'Amud) in Jerusalem
1961 Jordan Tourism Map of Jerusalem
King Hussein flying over the Temple Mount while it was under Jordanian control, 1965
Aerial view of the ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives
2018 United Nations map of the area, showing the Israeli occupation arrangements.
Israeli West Bank barrier in Jerusalem
Jerusalem municipal area, under Israel in 2000
Greater Jerusalem, May 2006. CIA remote sensing map showing areas they consider settlements, plus refugee camps, fences, walls, etc.
East Jerusalem, with Israeli West Bank barrier in the background
Dome of the Rock in the Old City
UN map showing a series of Israeli "Inner Settlements" – each represented as red crosses – with clusters in the Old City, to the south adjacent to the City of David (shown as "Beit Hazofe" (בית הצופה, "Observation House")) and Ma'ale HaZeitim, and to the north around Shimon HaTzadik.
The new building is Schmidt's Girls College.

During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the western part of Jerusalem was captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was captured by Jordan.

State of Palestine

De jure sovereign state in Western Asia.

De jure sovereign state in Western Asia.

Demonstration against road block, Kafr Qaddum, March 2012
The destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City, Gaza–Israel conflict, September 2009
Map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
International recognition of the State of Palestine
Children waving a Palestinian flag, West Bank
Palestinian girls in Nablus
Illustration of Palestinian Christian home in Jerusalem, ca 1850. By W. H. Bartlett

Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in June 1967.

Hebrew language

Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family.

Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family.

The word HEBREW written in modern Hebrew language (top) and in Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (bottom)
The Shebna Inscription, from the tomb of a royal steward found in Siloam, dates to the 7th century BCE.
Hebrew script used in writing a Torah scroll. Note ornamental "crowns" on tops of certain letters.
Rashi script
A silver matchbox holder with inscription in Hebrew
Aleppo Codex: 10th century Hebrew Bible with Masoretic pointing (Joshua 1:1).
Kochangadi Synagogue in Kochi, India dated to 1344.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
Hebrew, Arabic and English multilingual signs on an Israeli highway
Dual language Hebrew and English keyboard
Academy of the Hebrew Language
Hebrew alphabet

With the rise of Zionism in the 19th century, the Hebrew language experienced a full-scale revival as a spoken and literary language, after which it became the main language of the Yishuv in Palestine and subsequently the lingua franca of the State of Israel with official status.

Arab world

The Arab world (العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland (الوطن العربي '), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states''', consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League.

The Arab world (العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland (الوطن العربي '), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states''', consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League.

Salah Zulfikar and Faten Hamama in the premiere of Bain Al-Atlal ("Among the Ruins") in Cairo, 1959
The Great Mosque of Kairouan (also called the Mosque of Uqba) was founded in 670 by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba ibn Nafi. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is located in the historic city of Kairouan in Tunisia.
The Maghreb (Western Arab world)
Abbasid caliphate (750 – 1258 CE)

Similarly, Chad, Eritrea, and Israel recognize Arabic as one of their official or working languages but are not included in the region because they are not members of the Arab League (although Chad and Eritrea applied for full membership in 2014).

Palestinian National Authority

Fatah-controlled government body that exercises partial civil control over West Bank areas "A" and "B" as a consequence of the 1993–1995 Oslo Accords.

Fatah-controlled government body that exercises partial civil control over West Bank areas "A" and "B" as a consequence of the 1993–1995 Oslo Accords.

Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on 13 September 1993.
CIA remote-sensing map of areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, July 2008.
The Palestinian legislative election in 2006, Hamas (green) and Fatah (yellow)
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), President of the Palestinian Authority since 2005 (disputed since 2009).

The Palestinian Authority was formed in 1994, pursuant to the Gaza–Jericho Agreement between the PLO and the government of Israel, and was intended to be a five-year interim body.