Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia located on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. With a population of about 7.28 million, the majority of whom are Jews, Israel is the world's only Jewish state. It is also home to Arab Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Samaritans, as well as other religious and ethnic minority groups.
The modern state of Israel has its roots in the Land of Israel, a concept central to Judaism for over three thousand 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 the Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Arab League rejected the plan, but on May 14, 1948, the Jewish provisional government declared Israel's independence. The new country's victory in the subsequent Arab-Israeli War expanded 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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