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Israel: Geography

Geography Israel
Location:
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Geographic coordinates:
31 30 N, 34 45 E
Map references:
Middle East
Area:
total: 20,770 sq km
water: 440 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
total: 1,017 km
border countries: Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km
Coastline:
273 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 NM
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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m
Natural resources:
timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
Land use:
arable land: 17.02%
permanent crops: 4.17%
other: 78.81% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,990 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
limited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
there are 242 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the West Bank, 42 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, 25 in the Gaza Strip, and 29 in East Jerusalem (February 2002 est.); Sea of Galilee is an important freshwater source

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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