Population: 8.2 million inhabitants
Religion: 75% Jewish, 21% Muslim and 4% Other
Form of Government: Unitary parliamentary republic with a
President and Prime Minister
20% of the population holds at least one academic degree
(third highest rate worldwide)
Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic. The majority of the population speaks Hebrew. The Hebrew language is written from right to left and uses the Hebrew alphabet. Traffic signs and street names are mostly written in English, Hebrew and Arabic. Israelis have decent abilities to communicate in English, as it is taught from the early grades in elementary school and many television programs are broadcasted in English.
Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April – October) and generally mild winters (November – March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less precipitation in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern regions. Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hilly regions; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev.
Weather extremes range from the occasional winter snowfall in the mountain regions to periodic oppressively hot dry winds that send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.
For a table of average annual temperatures, see: Average Temperature in Israel