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Israel (/ˈɪzriəl, ˈɪzrəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), also known as the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל), is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, the expulsion of the Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and later Mandatory Palestine.

In 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, and since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts dispute this claim). It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state and the nation state of the Jewish people. The country has a liberal democracy (one of only two in the Middle East and North Africa region, the other being Tunisia), with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. With a population of around 9 million as of 2019, Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member, has the 31st or 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and is the richest (nominal GDP) and the most developed country currently in conflict (100–999 deaths per year). It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training, percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree, research and development spending by GDP percentage, women's safety, life expectancy, innovativeness, and happiness.

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Female infantry instructors prepare for a combat exercise

The women in the Israel Defense Forces are female soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Israel is one of only a few countries in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women.

According to the IDF, 535 female Israeli soldiers had been killed in combat operations between the period 1962-2016 (this figure does not include the dozens of female soldiers killed in Israeli service prior to 1962). Women have taken part in Israel’s military before and since the founding of the state in 1948, with women comprising over 20% of Israeli forces in 1948, and 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers, in 2011, fulfilling various roles within the Ground, Navy and Air Forces. The 2000 Equality amendment to the Military Service law states that "The right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men." As of now, 88% to 92% of all roles in the IDF are open to female candidates, while women can be found in 69% of all positions. Read more...

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Angel Bakeries (Hebrew: מאפיות אנג'לMa'afiyot Anjel), also known as Angel's Bakery, is the largest commercial bakery in Israel, producing 275,000 loaves of bread and 275,000 rolls daily and controlling 30 percent of the country's bread market. With a product line of 100 different types of bread products and 250 different types of cakes and cookies, Angel sells its goods in 32 company-owned outlets nationwide and distributes to 6,000 stores and hundreds of hotels and army bases. It also exports to the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Denmark.

Founded in 1927 in Jerusalem by Salomon Angel, Angel Bakeries introduced to the Israeli market the first sliced bread, plant-based emulsifiers, and new baking technologies. It has always been family-run, at first by Salomon with his brothers and sons, then by Salomon's grandsons, and today by Salomon's great-grandsons. The company, Salomon A. Angel Ltd., is publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, with a turnover of $180 million in 2008. Read more...

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Peanut butter-flavored Bamba

Bamba (Hebrew: במבה‎) is a peanut butter-flavored snack manufactured by the Osem corporation in Holon, Israel.

Bamba is one of the leading snack foods produced and sold in Israel. It has been marketed since 1964 with no decline in sales. Bamba makes up 25% of the Israeli snack market. Similar products from other domestic manufacturers include "Parpar" (Telma, since 2000 a subsidiary of Unilever) and "Shush" (Strauss-Elite). Read more...

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12 November 2019 – Gaza–Israel conflict
Israel conducts airstrikes on targets in Gaza. (NPR)
11 November 2019 – Gaza–Israel conflict
The Israel Defense Forces say they've killed Baha Abu al-Ata, leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine's armed wing known as the Al-Quds Brigades, in an airstrike on a building in the Gaza Strip. PIJ confirms the death of Baha Abu al-Ata and his wife, vowing to "shake the Zionist entity to its core" in response. (Haaretz) (The Jerusalem Post)
11 November 2019 – Syrian Civil War
Israel Forces targets a Damascus house belonging to Islamic Jihad Official. The strike killed one of the militant's son. (Haaretz)
10 November 2019 – Israel–Jordan peace treaty
Israel returns the territory of the "Island of Peace" to Jordan. (The Times of Israel)

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  1. ^ Butcher, Tim. Sharon presses for fence across Sinai, Daily Telegraph, December 07, 2005.
  2. ^ cite web| title=11 Jan, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 8|url=https://www.rt.com/politics/israel-approves-democratic-barrier/}}
  3. ^ "November 22, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 10".