Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info); Medinat Yisra'el), officially the State of Israel, is a small country in Western Asia on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria and Jordan to the east, and Egypt and the State of Palestine to the south-west and has a population of over seven million people. The capital of Israel is Jerusalem.
The Land of Israel was the birthplace of Judaism in the 10th century BCE or earlier and of Christianity at the beginning of the 1st century CE. The modern State of Israel was founded in 1948 with a UN mandate. Today, Israel is the world's only Jewish state, although its population is very diverse, including citizens from many ethnic and religious backgrounds. Israel is a parliamentary democracy with multi-party system and separation of powers, and is consistently rated as "Free" by Freedom House. In 2006 Reporters Without Borders ranked it 50th out of 168 countries in freedom of the press, but by 2010 increased restrictions meant that ranking had dropped to 93 out of 178 and Israel was no longer the highest-ranked of any country in the Middle East. Israel has a technologically advanced economy as well as a vibrant cultural life. Israel was ranked 15th out of 177 countries in the 2010 United Nations Human Development Index, the highest ranking in the Middle East and 3rd highest in all of Asia.
Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 and a land area of 52 km2 (20 sq mi). The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in central-west Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area, home to 3,325,700 residents. The city is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai. Residents of Tel Aviv are referred to as Tel Avivim. As the United Nations and most countries do not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is home to most foreign embassies. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 by the Jewish Community of Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ Yafo; Arabic: يافا Yāfā), on the outskirts of the ancient port city. The growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings. Known as "The City That Never Sleeps", Tel Aviv is the fifth-most-visited city in the Middle East and Africa, with 2.5 million international visitors annually. It is renowned for its 24-hour culture, cosmopolitan lifestyle, beaches, bars, restaurants, cafés, parks, shopping, and landmark neighborhoods such as Old Jaffa and Neve Tzedek.
Operation Entebbe, also known as the Entebbe Raid or Operation Thunderbolt, was a counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the night of July 3 and early morning of July 4, 1976. In the wake of the hijacking of Air France flight 139 and the hijackers' threats to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met, a plan was drawn up to airlift the hostages to safety. These plans took into account the likelihood of armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.
Originally codenamed Operation Thunderbolt (or Operation Thunderball) by the IDF, the operation was retroactively renamed Operation Yonatan in memory of the Sayeret Matkal commander Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu who was killed in action. Three hostages were killed and five Israeli commandos were wounded. A fourth hostage was murdered by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital. (more...)
, or Matsah
) Hebrew מַצָּה
, in Ashkenazi matzo
, and, in Yiddish
) is a cracker-like flatbread
made of white plain flour
. The dough is pricked in several places and not allowed to rise before or during baking, thereby producing a hard, flat bread
. It is similar in preparation to the Southwest Asian lavash
and the Indian chapati
Matza is the substitute for bread during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when eating chametz—bread and leavened products—is forbidden. Eating matza on the night of the seder is considered a positive mitzvah, i.e., a commandment. In the context of the Passover Seder meal, certain restrictions additional to the chametz prohibitions are to be met for the matza to be considered "mitzva matza", that is, matza that meets the requirements of the positive commandment to eat matza at the seder. (more...)
"America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from a deeper place -- and that’s the values we share." - Barack Obama 
The Shephelah (Hebrew: הַשְּפֵלָה, "lowland"; also שפלת יהודה, Shephelat Yehuda, "Judean lowland") is a designation usually applied to the region in south-central Israel of 10-15 km of low hills between the central Mount Hebron and the coastal plains of Philistia within the area of the Judea, at an altitude of 120-450 metres above sea level. The area is fertile, and a temperate Mediterranean climate prevails there. Shephelah was one of the regions allotted to the biblical Tribe of Judah.
- ...That Israel has the 8th longest life expectancy in the world: 82.0 years. More than the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany.
- ...That there are 26 official Muslim States, 18 official Christian States, but there is only 1 Jewish State - Israel.
- ...That relative to its size, Israel is the largest immigrant absorbing nation on Earth, it has absorbed 350% of its population in 60 years.
- ...That Israel has more Nobel Prizes per capita than the United States, France and Germany. It has more laureates, in real numbers, than India, Spain and China.
- ...That Israel's capital city, Jerusalem, is a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
- ...That Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain of trees, made more remarkable by the fact that it is 60% desert.
- ...That 93% of Israeli homes use Solar energy for water heating, the highest percentage in the world.
- ...That Israeli scientific research institutions are ranked 3rd in the world.
- ...That Israel is ranked 2nd in space sciences.
- ...That Israel is one of the ten countries in the world capable of launching its own satellites.
- ...That Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin -109 per 10,000 people - as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
- ...That Israel has the 3rd highest rate of entrepreneurship amongst women in the world.
- ...That Israel has attracted the most venture capital investment per capita in the world, 30 times more than Europe.
- ...That Israel leads the world in patents for medical equipment.
- ...That Israel has more NASDAQ listed companies than any other country, besides the US. More than all of Europe, India, China and Japan combined.
- ...That in proportion to its population Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute numbers Israel has more startup companies than any other country besides the US.
- ...That Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.
- ...That Israel is the 8th happiest country on Earth.
- ...That Israel has one of the best healthcare systems in the world according to OECD.
- ...That Israel is ranked 16th in the Human Development Index. It's the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and the third highest in Asia.
- ...That Israel is among the top three countries in cyber attack defense.
- ...That Israel is the country which offers the best conditions for clean technology startup companies after Denmark.
- ...That Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to population in the world.
- ...That Israeli universities are among the best of the world.
- ...That Israel is the second-most educated country after Canada.
- ...That Israel is the Middle East’s only "free" state, according to Freedom House annual report.
- ...That Israel's $300 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
- ...That Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
- ...That Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
- ...That Israel has the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the US, numbering 250.
- ...That the proportion of women among R&D workers in Israel is approximately 23.4%. This puts Israel in second place behind Denmark. Women earned 37% of all degrees granted in science and engineering in Israel, one of the highest proportions in the world.
- ...That the military of Israel is ranked the 11th most powerful military in the world. 
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Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
- Article requests : Belilios Family, HaRav Meir Shehenboim (Etz Hadar) (heb), HaRav Moshe Nehemia Cohenov, HaRav Yosef Adler (heb), Holyland (apartment complex) (heb), Radio in Israel (heb), Theatre of Israel (heb)
- Assess : Rate the Unassessed Israel-related articles and Unknown-importance Israel-related articles.
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- Citing sources : Cellcom (Israel)
- Cleanup : Cleanup listing for this project is available. See also the list by category and the tool's wiki page.
- Collaborate : Participate in WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration.
- Deletion sorting : Participate in discussions at WikiProject Deletion sorting/Israel.
- Expand : Ayala Procaccia, Diamond industry in Israel, Edna Arbel, Levin Kipnis, Rami Kleinstein, Sephardic Haredim, Way of the Patriarchs, Zman Tel Aviv, Dan Chamizer, Nachum Heiman, Public Defence (Israel), Prisoner of Zion
See also Articles needing translation from Hebrew Wikipedia.
- Geographical coordinates : Add geographic coordinates to Israel articles missing geocoordinate data.
- Infobox : Add infoboxes to Israel articles needing infoboxes.
- Maintain : See Israel articles needing attention.
- Map : See discussion at Module:Location map/data/Israel. Add maps to articles in Wikipedia requested maps in Israel.
- NPOV : Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries
- Photo : Add pictures to articles in Wikipedia requested photographs in Israel.
- Stubs : See Israel stubs.
- Update : Basic Law proposal: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People
- Other :