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The State of Israel (Medinat Yisrael in Hebrew, Daulat Israil in Arabic) is a country in the Middle East on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a parliamentary democracy and by national policy, a "Jewish State." The Israeli population is predominantly Jewish with a large non-Jewish minority, mostly comprised of Muslim and Christian Arabs. Israel borders (clockwise from north to south) the states of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Israel shares the coastlines of the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Eilat / Aqaba, and the Dead Sea.
Israel, located in Southwest Asia, is a country whose exact territorial boundaries and borders are widely disputed. It is also considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called Cradle of Humanity. The total area—excluding East Jerusalem and other territories taken over by Israel in the 1967 war—is 20,770 square km; the total area—including the aforementioned territories—is 22,145 square km.
The territories taken over by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations are being conducted between Israeli and Palestinian representatives (from the Israeli-controlled West Bank and Gaza Strip) to achieve a permanent settlement. These talks generated the Oslo Accords in 1993, which established mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, and granted the new Palestinian Authority partial autonomy in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Talks were also held between Israel and Syria. On April 25, 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace.