Israel - January 13th, 2009
Israel is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest.
The sovereign territory of Israel, excluding all territories captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, is approximately 20,770 square kilometers (8,019 sq mi) in area, of which two percent is water.
The total area under Israeli law, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, is 22,072 square kilometers (8,522 sq mi).
The total area under Israeli control, including the military-controlled and partially Palestinian-governed territory of the West Bank, is 27,799 square kilometers (10,733 sq mi).
Despite its small size, Israel is home to a variety of geographic features, from the Negev Desert in the south to the mountain ranges of the Galilee, Carmel, and the Golan in the north.
The Israeli Coastal Plain, the green area on the shores of the Mediterranean, is home to seventy percent of the nation’s population.
East of the central highlands lies the Jordan Rift Valley, which forms a small part of the 6,500-kilometer (4,040-mi) Great Rift Valley.
The Jordan River runs along the Jordan Rift Valley, from Mount Hermon through the Hulah Valley and the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the surface of the Earth.
Temperatures in Israel vary widely, especially during the winter. The more mountainous regions can be windy, cold, and sometimes snowy. Meanwhile, coastal cities have a typical Mediterranean climate with cool, rainy winters and long, hot summers.