The modern state of Israel has its roots in the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), a concept central to Judaism for over 3000 years. After World War I, the League of Nations approved the British Mandate of Palestine with the intent of creating a "national home for the Jewish people." In 1947, the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel declared independence in accordance with the UN decision and this was followed by a war with the surrounding Arab states, which refused to accept the plan. The Israelis were subsequently victorious in a series of wars confirming their independence and expanding the borders of the Jewish state beyond those in the UN Partition Plan.



Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several major wars and decades of violence that continue to this day. Since its foundation, Israel’s boundaries and even the State’s very right to exist have been subject to dispute, especially among its Arab neighbors. However, Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and efforts are being made to reach a permanent accord with the Palestinians.

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Israeli-Palestine conflict (newspaper photo)
Israeli-Palestine conflict (newspaper photo)...
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Jerusalem-boy studying scriptures...
Jerusalem-carpet market
Jerusalem-carpet market...
Jerusalem-Church of Holy Sepulcre (Jesus' tomb)
Jerusalem-Church of Holy Sepulcre (Jesus' tomb)...
Jerusalem-Chruch of Holy Sepulcre
Jerusalem-Chruch of Holy Sepulcre...
Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock mosque
Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock mosque...
Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock mosque
Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock mosque...
Jerusalem-flags
Jerusalem-flags...
Jerusalem-Israeli parliament (knesset)
Jerusalem-Israeli parliament (knesset)...
Jerusalem-Muslim quarter
Jerusalem-Muslim quarter...
Jerusalem-ancient gate
Jerusalem-ancient gate...
Jerusalem-Orthodox Jews
Jerusalem-Orthodox Jews...
Jerusalem-churches and mosques
Jerusalem-churches and mosques...
Jerusalem-Western Wall and Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem-Western Wall and Dome of the Rock...
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial...
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial ('97)
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial ('97)...
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial...
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust memorial...
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust children
Jerusalem-Yad Vashem holocaust children...
Jerusalem-Christian, Jewish, Muslim souvenirs
Jerusalem-Christian, Jewish, Muslim souvenirs...
Israeli-Lebanon border check point
Israeli-Lebanon border check point...
Israeli-Lebanon border prayer for peace
Israeli-Lebanon border prayer for peace...
Israeli-Lebanon border
Israeli-Lebanon border...
Masada-ancient Roman ruin (1st century BC)
Masada-ancient Roman ruin (1st century BC)...
Mount Tabor
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Nazareth-Annunciation Basilica
Nazareth-Annunciation Basilica...
Nazareth-Franciscan monk
Nazareth-Franciscan monk...
Nazareth-Arab souvenir vendor
Nazareth-Arab souvenir vendor...
Negev desert overview
Negev desert overview...
Bet Shean ancient Roman city
Bet Shean ancient Roman city...
Dana International' transgender pop star
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