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מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל

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Israel (/ˈɪzri.əl, -r-/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל Yīsrāʾēl [jisʁaˈʔel]; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl [mediˈnat jisʁaˈʔel]; دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل Dawlat Isrāʾīl), is a country in West Asia. It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, by Syria to the northeast, by Jordan to the east, by the Red Sea to the south, by Egypt to the southwest, by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and by the Palestinian territories – the West Bank along the east and the Gaza Strip along the southwest. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Israel is located in the Southern Levant, a region known historically as Canaan, the Land of Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land. In the early first millennium BCE, the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged, before falling to the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires, respectively. During the classical era, the region was ruled by the Achaemenid, Macedonian, Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. In the 2nd century BCE, an independent Hasmonean kingdom emerged, before Rome conquered the area a century later. In the 7th century CE, the Muslim conquest of the Levant established caliphal rule, which was interrupted in the 11th century by the Crusades and fully restored in the 13th century by the Mamluks, who lost the area to the Ottoman Empire at the onset of the 16th century. In the 19th century, Jews began immigrating to the area as part of the Zionist movement. After World War I, the allied powers assigned the Mandate for Palestine to Britain, which during the war made a declaration of support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Following World War II and the Holocaust, the newly formed United Nations adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine, recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states, and placing Jerusalem under international control. In the final months of the British Mandate, a civil war broke out between the Palestinian Arabs and the Yishuv, beginning the first stage of the 1948 Palestine war. The British terminated the Mandate on 14 May 1948, and Israel declared independence that day. (Full article...)

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The Old City of Jerusalem is a 0.9-square-kilometre (0.35 sq mi) walled area in East Jerusalem.

The Old City is today divided into four uneven quarters, in a tradition which may have begun with an 1840s British map of the city; these are the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Jewish Quarter. A fifth area, the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Al-Aqsa or Haram al-Sharif, is home to the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and was once the site of the Jewish Temple. The Old City's current walls and city gates were built by the Ottoman Empire from 1535 to 1542 under Suleiman the Magnificent. The Old City is home to several sites of key importance and holiness to the three major Abrahamic religions: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall for Judaism, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christianity, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Islam. The Old City, along with its walls, was added to the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO in 1981. (Full article...)
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A rock-cut tomb in the shape of a temple with a large hole cut into it

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A view of the Western Wall

The Western Wall (Hebrew: הַכּוֹתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי, romanizedHaKotel HaMa'aravi, lit.'the western wall', often shortened to the Kotel or Kosel), known in the West as the Wailing Wall, and in Islam as the Buraq Wall (Arabic: حَائِط ٱلْبُرَاق, Ḥā'iṭ al-Burāq Arabic pronunciation: ['ħaːʔɪtˤ albʊ'raːq]), is a portion of ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem that forms part of the larger retaining wall of the hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount. Just over half the wall's total height, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, and is believed to have been begun by Herod the Great. The very large stone blocks of the lower courses are Herodian, the courses of medium-sized stones above them were added during the Umayyad period, while the small stones of the uppermost courses are of more recent date, especially from the Ottoman period.

The Western Wall plays an important role in Judaism due to its proximity to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray outside the previous Temple Mount platform, as the presumed site of the Holy of Holies, the most sacred site in the Jewish faith, lies just behind it. The original, natural, and irregular-shaped Temple Mount was gradually extended to allow for an ever-larger Temple compound to be built at its top. The earliest source mentioning this specific site as a place of Jewish worship is from the 17th century. It also has a place in Muslim tradition, in which it is believed to be the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his Isra and Mi'raj to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the western border of al-Haram al-Sharif ("the Noble Sanctuary"), or the Al-Aqsa compound. (Full article...)

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The Seven Species with associated Biblical verse depicted on a set of Israeli stamps issued in 1958

The Seven Species (Hebrew: שִׁבְעַת הַמִינִים, Shiv'at HaMinim) are seven agricultural products - two grains and five fruits - which are listed in the Hebrew Bible as being special products of the Land of Israel.

The seven species listed are wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranates, olive (oil), and date (date honey) (Deuteronomy 8:8). Their first fruits were the only acceptable offerings in the Temple. (Full article...)

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23 September 2023 – Israeli–Lebanese conflict
UNIFIL intervenes to prevent a confrontation between the Lebanese Army and the Israeli Army near the Shebaa Farms. (The Jerusalem Post)
19 September 2023 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
September 2023 Jenin incursion
Four Palestinians are killed and 30 others are injured in an Israeli Army raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Two other Palestinians were also killed both in Jericho and Khan Yunis that afternoon. (Al Jazeera)
13 September 2023 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Five people are killed and 25 more injured during an explosion at a rally in the Gaza Strip marking the anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. (Al Jazeera)

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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".
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